UFC Mexico: Brandon Royval replaces Amir Albazi against Brandon Moreno

May 7, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Brandon Royval celebrates after defeating Matt Schnell during UFC 274 at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Depending on who you ask, UFC Mexico might’ve just gotten an upgrade. In the main event of the February 24th card, former flyweight champion and Tijuana native Brandon Moreno (21-7-2) was set to take on top contender Amir Albazi (17-1).

However, tonight we learned that the original fight has been scrapped. Moreno told ESPN Deportes that Albazi is pulling out of the fight and the UFC found a phenomenal replacement who has history with Moreno. The former flyweight champion will be taking on recent title challenger Brandon Royval (15-7).

“Raw Dawg” just fought about a month ago against Alexandre Pantoja for the flyweight title. Royval lost by decision, but he didn’t take a ton of damage in the fight. With that result, he was ready to jump right back in there. Royval fought Moreno back at UFC 255 in November 2020.

The fight was very competitive in the first round, but Royval ended up injuring his shoulder near the end of the first round. Moreno scored the TKO win over an injured Royval.

UFC Mexico

That win over Royval is actually what earned Moreno a shot against Deiveson Figueiredo. He fought the flyweight champion at the time to a draw and that started a four-fight series between the two. Moreno won the series 2-1-1 and entered this past summer as the UFC flyweight champion.

In the middle of the series, Moreno did have an interim title fight with Kai Kara-France while Figgy had an injury and Moreno won that fight by TKO. Moreno had a rematch with Alexandre Pantoja over the summer at UFC 290 and lost a very close split decision to lose his flyweight title.

Moreno did weigh-in last month as the backup fighter for the matchup between Royval and Pantoja. Now, he’ll face off with Royval once again in front of a hyped crowd in Mexico City.