The UFC and Dana White dropped several massive announcements tonight on their social media pages. First and foremost, it was announced that Jiri Prochazka and Alex Pereira will fight at UFC 295 for the vacant light heavyweight title. Then, we learned that the 296 main event on December 16th will be a welterweight title fight between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington.
To round out the announcements, White announced the UFC 296 co-main event and it’s a banger. White announced that newly crowned flyweight champion Alexandre Pantoja (26-5) will have his first title defense against a familiar foe in “Raw Dawg” Brandon Royval (15-6).
I couldn’t be happier for Brandon Royval in getting this much deserved shot at the title. Following Amir Albazi’s win over Kai Kara-France, he somehow leaped over Royval in the rankings. However, the promotion got this one right in choosing Royval for Pantoja’s first title defense.
Royval fought Pantoja and was submitted back in 2021. Since that loss, he’s won three straight including back-to-back first round finishes. Most recently, Royval knocked out Matheus Nicolau at UFC Kansas City back in April.
Alexandre Pantoja had been waiting for his shot at the flyweight title. While Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo fought four straight times, Pantoja stayed ready winning three straight fights. He defeated Manel Kape, Royval, and finished former title challenger Alex Perez.
Finally, Pantoja got his shot at UFC 290 back in July. Pantoja and Brandon Moreno were fighting for the third time technically granted one of their fights came on The Ultimate Fighter. Pantoja had won the first two convincingly but the third fight was an absolute war.
Still, in the end, the result was the same. By split decision, Pantoja became the UFC flyweight champion and now he will look to defend his title for the first time.