Brandon Royval is eagerly anticipating the UFC 290 co-main event and the opportunity it presents, despite not being officially booked for the fight. The 30-year-old contender, currently on a three-fight winning streak in the flyweight division, has taken it upon himself to be a backup for the title bout between reigning champion Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja on July 8 in Las Vegas.
Although the likelihood of him stepping into the cage that night is slim, Royval has committed to an intense training camp in preparation for the chance to secure the next title shot against the winner. Regardless of the outcome, he remains excited about the future of the flyweight division and his desire to face the victor.
While acknowledging that he is not currently slated to fight either Moreno or Pantoja, Royval has embraced the freedom to incorporate various elements into his training camp. Consequently, he describes it as one of the most enjoyable camps he has experienced. However, he remains prepared to face either opponent, expressing his readiness to seize the opportunity if circumstances permit.
Although his primary goal is to fight for a UFC title, Royval recognizes the personal history he shares with both competitors in the UFC 290 co-main event. His first UFC defeat came at the hands of Moreno, where a shoulder injury led to a TKO stoppage in the opening round. In his subsequent fight, he suffered his only legitimate loss in the UFC when Pantoja submitted him with a rear-naked choke in the second round.
This shared history fuels Royval’s determination to avenge those losses, making the outcome of the Moreno-Pantoja fight of secondary importance to him. He admits a stronger desire to face Pantoja, the only opponent who has truly defeated him in his career. Regarding his loss to Moreno, Royval minimizes its significance, questioning the legitimacy of the finish due to his dislocated shoulder during the bout. Nonetheless, he acknowledges that a fight with Moreno holds greater monetary and career opportunities, considering the champion’s popularity and influence.
Although a rematch with Pantoja holds personal significance for Royval, he also finds motivation in the potential bout with Moreno, as it remains a blemish on his record. Recognizing the need for research to recall the details of their previous encounter, he emphasizes the opportunity to settle unfinished business that dates back two years.
If Moreno emerges victorious, Royval views it as an opportunity to address the unresolved issues between them. He believes that their first encounter leaves room for doubt and seeks to leave no question as to the true winner. Royval characterizes the potential showdown as an exciting clash of two fighters who bring excitement to the division. He considers Moreno the division’s biggest challenge and relishes the chance to face him.
Royval understands that even in the best-case scenario, he would likely have to wait until late 2023 to compete for the flyweight title. Nevertheless, he is willing to take that risk. Despite his willingness to seize opportunities, he prioritizes a shot at gold. Consequently, he is prepared to patiently await his chance, having invested his time and energy into an entire training camp for the possibility of competing at UFC 290.
Having dedicated 15 years of his life to reaching this point, Royval expresses his willingness to wait, emphasizing his determination to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming a title contender. He recognizes the need for patience and asserts his readiness to persevere, even if it means waiting six months to make his dreams come true.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about UFC 290 backup
Q: Is Brandon Royval scheduled to compete in the UFC 290 co-main event?
A: No, Brandon Royval is not officially scheduled to compete in the UFC 290 co-main event. However, he has taken on a backup role for the title fight between Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja.
Q: Why is Brandon Royval training for the possibility of fighting in UFC 290?
A: Brandon Royval is training for the possibility of fighting in UFC 290 because he wants to secure the next title shot opportunity against the winner of the co-main event. He sees this as a chance to further his career and fight for the UFC title.
Q: Who has Brandon Royval lost to in his UFC career?
A: Brandon Royval suffered a loss against both Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja in his UFC career. Moreno defeated him in a fight where Royval suffered a shoulder injury, leading to a TKO stoppage. Pantoja finished him in the second round with a rear-naked choke submission.
Q: Which opponent does Brandon Royval want to fight more, Moreno or Pantoja?
A: Brandon Royval expresses a stronger desire to fight Alexandre Pantoja, as he is the only opponent who has fully beaten him and finished him in a fight. While he acknowledges Moreno’s win, he questions the legitimacy of the finish due to his shoulder injury during the bout.
Q: Is Brandon Royval willing to wait for a title shot?
A: Yes, Brandon Royval is willing to wait for a title shot. He has been waiting his whole life for this opportunity and is prepared to be patient. Even if it means waiting six months, he is determined to make his dreams of becoming a title contender come true.