Alexandre Pantoja is the newly crowned UFC flyweight champion, but his journey to the top was not easy. In fact, he had to work as an Uber Eats driver just two years ago to make ends meet.
Pantoja told MMA Junkie that he was struggling financially after his wife and children had to move back to Brazil. He was also dealing with a knee injury that was preventing him from fighting.
“I had to do something,” Pantoja said. “I couldn’t just sit around and do nothing.”
So, Pantoja started driving for Uber Eats. He would work long hours, often from 6am to 10pm. He would deliver food to people all over Florida, sometimes in the middle of the night.
“It was hard work,” Pantoja said. “But I had to do it.”
Pantoja’s Uber Eats stint lasted for about eight months. During that time, he was able to save up enough money to pay his mortgage and support his family. He also started training again, and his knee injury eventually healed.
In 2021, Pantoja returned to the UFC and won four straight fights. He then challenged Brandon Moreno for the flyweight title at UFC 290. Pantoja won the fight by unanimous decision, becoming the new UFC flyweight champion.
Pantoja’s story is an inspiration to anyone who has ever struggled financially. He showed that it is possible to achieve your dreams, even if you have to start at the bottom.