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Saturday was a successful homecoming for many Brazilian fighters at UFC 301. But none was better than flyweight champion Alexander Pantoja, who defended his crown in the main event with a decision over Steve Erceg.

Pantoja suffered some heavy damage in the fight, including a brutal cut, but marched forward en route to victory. It was the first time Pantoja fought in front of his hometown fans as a UFC fighter, much less champion, and first time fighting at home in over a decade overall.

Elsewhere, the "King of Rio" also returned and made it a success as Jose Aldo outpoint Jonathan Martinez to get back in the win column. Aldo walked away from MMA following a 2022 loss to Merab Dvalishvili. But the former featherweight king had one fight left on his deal and was determined to fight out of his contract for free agency. He did just that in spectacular fashion by thwarting a rising contender who had won six fights in a row heading in. Plus, light heavyweight veteran Anthony Smith bounced back in a big way by submitting Vitor Petrino in the first round. And Michel Pereira continued his high-flying act by nearly landing a backflip on Ihor Potieria before locking up a standing guillotine submission in the first round.

CBS Sports was with you throughout fight week with the latest news, in-depth features and betting advice to consider. Thanks for stopping by and we'll see you at UFC 302 in Newark, New Jersey.

UFC 301 fight card, results

  • Alexandre Pantoja (c) def. Steve Erceg via unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47)
  • Jonathan Martinez def. Jose Aldo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Anthony Smith def. Vitor Petrino via first-round submission (guillotine choke)
  • Michel Pereira def. Ihor Potieria via first-round submission (guillotine choke)
  • Caio Borralho def. Paul Craig via second-round KO (punches)
  • Joanderson Brito def. Jack Shore via second-round TKO (doctor stoppage)
  • Iasmin Lucindo def. Karolina Kowalkiewicz via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Myktybek Orolbai def. Elves Brener via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
  • Drakkar Klose def. Joaquim Silva via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Mauricio Ruffy def. Jamie Mullarkey via first-round TKO (knee, punches)
  • Dione Barbosa def. Ernesta Kareckaite via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Ismael Bonfim def. Vinc Pichel via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Alessandro Costa def. Kevin Borjas via second-round TKO (punches)

UFC 301 countdown