Tomorrow night on the prelims of UFC Kansas City, we are going to see a potential title eliminator in the flyweight division. Top five contenders will battle it out as Brandon Royval (14-6) takes on Matheus Nicolau (19-2-1).
It’s still a little shocking to me that this matchup takes place on the prelims considering what is at stake in this matchup. Both men are carrying in multiple fight winning streaks and both men are currently ranked inside the top five. It’s pretty clear that the winner is likely next for the flyweight title.
Brandon Royval wanted to have a very active 2022. He started the year strong with back-to-back wins and then he was booked to take on Askar Askarov in October. Unfortunately, Askarov pulled out of the fight due to weight issues. Royval took another fight against Amir Albazi a few months later and then broke his wrist.
Now, he’s healthy and he’s ready to secure his shot at flyweight gold. However, to do that, he’s going to have to take on the tough Matheus Nicolau. Nicolau will enter the cage riding a six-fight winning streak. This is his second stop with the UFC and on this most recent stretch he’s gone 4-0.
He’s defeated the likes of Manel Kape, former title challenger Tim Elliott, and then he knocked out Matt Schnell in his last fight. He’s on a role now and if he can defeat Royval, it should secure his place at the top of the division.
UFC Kansas City Prediction
One thing you need to know about Brandon Royval fights it’s that they are exciting. Royval is always going to bring a crazy pace and he’s going to look to put it on his opponents. However, sometimes the style can be a little reckless and he needs to be careful in this matchup.
Nicolau has sensational technique and when they are on the feet, I really like his ability to throw crisp combinations. Royval is very tricky on the ground, but I think that Nicolau has the skills to neutralize him there. Because of Royval’s style, I’m still fully expecting him to have his moments in this fight.
However, I think the cleaner shots and the more measured approach of Matheus Nicolau is going to win out at UFC Kansas City. This could easily be fight of the night and it might be a fight that we walk away from really thinking that nobody lost.
Prediction: Matheus Nicolau by Decision