UFC 290 backup fighter Brandon Royval breaks down Brandon Moreno vs. Alexandre Pantoja 2

By Cole Shelton - July 5, 2023

Brandon Royval is more than ready to fight for UFC gold on Saturday night at UFC 290.

Brandon Royval

In the co-main event of UFC 290, Brandon Moreno is looking to defend his flyweight title as he takes on Alexandre Pantoja. The two have fought twice – with Pantoja winning both, although one was on TUF so it was ruled an exhibition.

With the flyweight title fight being an important bout on the pay-per-view card, the UFC enlisted Brandon Royval as the backup fighter, which he says has been a cool experience.

“It’s super cool man. With my rounds, I do one round with a Pantoja look and the next round with a Moreno look and then I have a guy that does both of them,” Brandon Royval said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “It’s cool to see which one he is doing to make those adjustments on the fly and in some rounds, he will mimic both guys. I have different game plans for each one of those guys. Then, this training camp is just about improving myself anyways. I feel like when it’s a specific opponent, I prepare for them and what I can do to capitalize on them, but, this one is all about me.”

What also helps Brandon Royval in his preparation is the fact that he has fought both Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja. With that, he is very familiar with both men and if they successful in making it to the Octagon on Saturday, Royval believes it will be Moreno getting his hand raised.

“I just think people see improvements in Brandon’s game and Brandon has improved more. But, to count Pantoja out of the fight is crazy,” Brandon Royval said. “He has been making statements, and in my opinion, he should have fought for the belt last year… I can see a finish either way, Pantoja has shown he is a finisher and I think Brandon Moreno if it goes three or four rounds, he has a better chance to get him out of there if it comes down to cardio.”

Although Brandon Royval expects both Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja to make the walk to the Octagon, he is more than ready to fight at UFC 290. Royval says he wants to get the belt as quickly as possible, but if he isn’t needed, he hopes he can face Moreno on the Mexican Independence Card in September.

“Denver is the city of champions and I am trying to bring the belt back to Denver. The Nuggets are champions, the Avs won the Stanley Cup the year before, the collegiate teams are winning, the lacrosse teams are winning. I’m trying to bring the belt back to Denver and keep the city winning, so as soon as I can do that, that is my focus,” Brandon Royval concluded. “The sooner I can start defending my belt and making championship money and cementing my legacy in the UFC. If someone falls out on the day of the fight, I’m ready, the sooner the better. If Moreno goes out unscathed and can make the Mexcian Independence Day September fight card, I would love that.”


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