This past Saturday night on the prelims of UFC Kansas City, we saw a big time flyweight matchup with title implications. Brandon Royval (15-6) took on Matheus Nicolau (19-3-1). There was a lot said about the placement of this fight on the prelims.
Royval expressed his frustration both before and after the fight. Dana White even acknowledged that the UFC made a big mistake not having Royval and Nicolau on the main card. That said, the fight went on as the second to last prelim and it didn’t disappoint.
The fight started out pretty methodical with both men feeling the other out. With so much at stake, it’s easy to understand why. However, Royval did keep pressuring and on one of the first big exchanges, he launched with a flying knee.
The knee hit Nicolau flush and the Brazilian went down. A few more follow up elbows landed and the fight was over. A massive statement win from Brandon Royval as he looked to secure a UFC title shot.
What’s next after UFC Kansas City?
In the post-fight presser, Royval indicated that he was told he’d be the backup fighter for the upcoming title fight between Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja. Those are the only two men to have defeated Royval in his last nine fights.
Former champion Deiveson Figueiredo and Manel Kape are also fighting on that card, but I don’t think the winner of that fight is getting a title shot. The title shot is definitely going to “Raw Dog” after the win he got on Saturday night.
We asked Royval at media day if he had a preference between Moreno or Pantoja for his UFC title shot. Without hesitation he said Pantoja. He pointed to his injury in the Moreno fight. Royval said he had no excuses for the Pantoja fight and the fact is that Pantoja just beat him.
For that reason, he wants that fight more. However, he ultimately wants a UFC title shot, and that’s what he’s going to get after that win.