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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Nolan King and Ken Hathaway

Steve Erceg explains Brandon Moreno callout after UFC Fight Night 238 victory

LAS VEGAS – Steve Erceg knows if he can beat them, he can join them.

That’s why Erceg (12-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) called out former flyweight champion Brandon Moreno (21-8-2 MMA, 9-5-2 UFC) on the microphone Saturday at UFC Fight Night 238 following his big knockout of Matt Schnell (16-8 MMA, 6-6 UFC).

“He’s one of the best in the world, a former titleholder,” Erceg told MMA Junkie and other reporters at a post-fight news conference. “He’s obviously coming off two losses and I’m looking to get myself into the top five. So I think a win over him not only improves my confidence because I’m beating somebody who was at that level, but really puts me into that title contention picture.”

Moreno, 30, is currently on a two-fight losing skid including a split decision main event loss Feb. 24 to Brandon Royval.

“I didn’t think that was his best performance,” Erceg said. “I don’t know if it was the range that was giving him trouble or – I’m not sure. He looked a little bit sloppy in that fight. Usually, he’s a really good boxer. He looked average last week.”

If the UFC is as keen on the idea of the proposed matchup as he is, Erceg already has an event and location in mind.

“(I want to return) as soon as possible,” Erceg said. “Obviously, the Sphere (in Las Vegas in September). That’s a huge event. That’s UFC Noche. He’s Mexican. That would be absolutely epic. But if they come to Australia, I’d love to fight in Australia, as well, and have my home crowd cheering me on, getting to see me fight live.”

Erceg, 28, was thrown into the deep end immediately upon his UFC arrival. He fought then-UFC-ranked David Dvorak (and won) in his short-notice promotional debut. He then defeated short-notice newcomer Alessandro Costa prior to Saturday’s KO of Schnell.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 238.

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