Brandon Royval has gone from being the awkward new kid at school, to the big man on campus, following UFC 253.
Well, not exactly. “Not at all,” Royval (12-4) corrected with a laugh, speaking post-fight to Cageside Press in a virtual media scrum. “Now I’m going to ask for [Israel] Adesanya‘s autograph,” he joked. Then admitted that “I probably shouldn’t say sh*t, I should shut the f*ck up. I don’t know how to play it. I do want his autograph. I’ll probably watch him walk by and go like ‘heyyy.'”
Royval nonetheless put on a stunning performance against Kai Kara-France, that saw both men rocked early, but continue to fight at a frantic pace. Though the end came early in the second, via a guillotine choke, it was enough to earn Fight of the Night. Royval now has two UFC wins in two outings. And two post-fight bonuses.
Flyweight fights are known for their pace, but even with that in mind, Royval vs. Kara-France was at another level on Saturday. “I was watching Nick Diaz highlights all day. I was like ‘let’s just keep walking him down.’ I knew the power could only last so long, I knew that he was backing up a lot against the cage.” With Kara-France putting himself in a bad position, Royval decided to carry on with that forward pressure, walking Royval down.
Looking ahead, Royval knows that there’s some great 125lb fights coming up. Including Brandon Moreno vs. Alex Perez, and Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Cody Garbrandt. “Those are just great fights to watch,” Royval noted. He’s not entirely sure if he’ll get back in the octagon in 2020, but if it is his last trip to the cage this year, he summed it up neatly.
“I’m just happy that I’m able to do this full time. That’s like a dream come true in itself. I always wanted to be a full-time MMA fighter, and I’m out here making it happen,” said Royval. “I feel great. I feel happy that I can keep moving up, and moving forward.”
Watch the full UFC 253 virtual post-fight press scrum with Brandon Royval above.