Brandon Royval plans to keep ‘spoiling parties,’ take Alexandre Pantoja’s title at UFC 301

Brandon Royval is excited about heading into enemy territory.

He could get his wish on May 4 if the matchmakers decide to give him another crack at Alexandre Pantoja, who successfully defended the flyweight title against Royval this past December at UFC 296. The Brazilian star is poised to headline UFC 301 in Rio de Janeiro, but he needs a challenger, and Royval’s win over Brandon Moreno in the UFC Mexico City main event may have made Royval the front-runner for that spot.

Royval earned a narrow split decision over Mexico’s Moreno to avenge a November 2020 loss and if he has to head Pantoja’s home country for another chance to become UFC champion, he welcomes the challenge.

“I’m going to continue spoiling parties,” Royval said at the UFC Mexico City post-fight press conference. “UFC 301, I’m going to fight Pantoja and I’m going to take his belt in his hometown, in Rio de Janeiro, and we’ll keep spoiling parties after I win that belt, I’ll defend my belt in Denver, Colorado.”

Standing in the way of Royval’s title hopes are the fact that Pantoja defeated him just two months ago and he already holds two victories over Royval. A third fight could be a tough sell, but Royval just knocked off a two-time UFC champion who previously had bragging rights over him, and he’s confident that he’s proven he can make the proper adjustments to finally knock off Pantoja.

“You’ve seen it,” Royval said. “I made adjustments in six weeks. Five weeks, whatever it was, five weeks because I hurt my hand and I couldn’t get back into training. I had a five-week training camp. In five weeks, I made a bunch of adjustments.

“I didn’t get held down, Brandon Moreno tried to slow me down, slow down the pace, hold me down, keep me down. They ain’t going to hold me down no more.”

Royval is best known for his exciting finishes, but on Saturday he impressed in a 25-minute fight with Moreno, using relentless volume and pace to earn the decision on two of the judges’ cards. It was a far cry from the listless performance he had against Pantoja at UFC 296.

It is not yet known if Royval will get the call to headline in Rio. Should it happen, he only sees one possible outcome this time around.

“I’m going to be the champ,” Royval said. “That’s the future. The future is the ‘Raw Dawg’ Royval is going to be the champ and then I’ll fight anybody. I’ll fight No. 10, I don’t really care. But I’m going to be the new champion. I messed up, I dropped the ball. You guys have seen in five weeks me correct those mistakes and I’m only going to get better by UFC 301.”

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