Las Vegas, NV — Brandon Royval explained the origin of his infamous nickname ahead of this week’s UFC Vegas 46.
Fighter nicknames. They can either make or break a fighter. Just kidding, they aren’t that serious, but they can definitely make you remember a fighter. If you remember Corey “Beastin’ 25/8” Anderson switching to “Overtime” — you get the idea. It just so happens Factory X’s Royval has a pretty great nickname: Raw Dawg.
On Wednesday at UFC Vegas 46 media day, Royval told Cageside Press how he originally got the nickname.
“That nickname came from a drunk fan in the audience. He was yelling, ‘Brandon, raw dog him, raw dog him,'” Royval recalled. “That happened when I was an amateur, and years after that [my team] were like yeah, Brandon’ Raw Dawg’ Royval, and making jokes. When I fought for World Series of Fighting, I used it to see if they would say it on TV, and then I knocked the dude out, and I was like, ‘well, I guess we’re sticking with this nickname.’ Once you have a nickname like “Raw Dawg,” it doesn’t really go away.”
“So, after a few fights with LFA, I was telling them ‘hey, we got to drop this nickname’ and then Mike Kendall, the announcer from LFA, I swear, leaned into it extra hard that time. He was like ‘RAWWW DAWWWG,’ and I was like, well, I guess “Raw Dawg” is sticking.”
Royval will be defending his No. 5 spot in the flyweight rankings this weekend against No. 7 Rogerio Bontorin. For the first time in his career, he is on a two-fight skid and is looking to bounce back in a big way.
He credits this fight camp for making him “fight smarter and not harder.” While he has a hectic style of fighting that has made him a big fan favorite, he will keep that in his back pocket if need be.
“I need to hit cruise control and find the right pace from there. I always have the capability with this fight with Bontorin that if worse comes to worst, I can go ballistic and just drown him with cardio, throw everything and see what happens. I also just have way more skills than just to be doing that,” Royval said.
Brandon Royval faces Rogerio Bontorin at UFC Vegas 46 (UFC on ESPN 32) this Saturday, January 15, at the Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card airs live on ESPN in the U.S. More coverage from Wednesday’s media day can be found below.