6. Alexandre Pantoja Vs. Askar Askarov - Flyweight
Despite talk of Alexandre Pantoja's presence on the UFC Fight Island 3 card largely being directed towards his position as a backup to the main event, especially given Deiveson Figueiredo's potential false-positive test, Pantoja's actual scheduled bout is an extremely exciting prospect. In the opening fight of the main card, the Brazilian is set to face unbeaten-Russian submission specialist, Askar "Bullet" Askarov.
Askarov has had an interesting start to his career within the UFC. With a decent level of excitement behind his debut, the Russian fighter stepped inside the Octagon for the first time last September against Brandon Moreno. The two flyweights fought to a draw in Mexico City. At UFC 246, Askarov secured his first victory in the promotion, battling veteran Tim Elliott across three rounds for a unanimous decision win. Despite a relatively underwhelming couple of displays for the UFC, Askarov had found a finish in all 10 of his MMA victories leading into his Octagon debut. With seven submission wins, the 'Bullet' has shown his abilities on the ground, bagging wins via a Twister, a Guillotine, an Anaconda, an Armbar and multiple Rear-Naked Chokes.
With a 22-4 MMA record, Alexandre Pantoja will enter the Fight Island date after a win over Matt Schnell in December. 4-1 in his past five fights, the Brazilian's only recent loss came to top flyweight contender Deiveson Figueiredo. Barring any virus implications or issues with the Brazilian's weight, the Flyweight Championship should finally find a home with Benavidez or Figueiredo and perhaps the undercard matchup between Pantoja and Askarov, which has all the signs of being an entertaining scrap at 125 lbs, can determine the new number one contender