Arguably one of the most promising match-ups on the UFC Kansas City card was inexplicably buried on the prelims — a flyweight fight between ranked 125’ers Brandon Royval and Matheus Nicolau.
Royval and Nicolau were ranked #4 and #5 at flyweight, respectively. They showed why in quick succession on Saturday.
It was Brandon Royval pressing forward early at UFC Kansas City, with Nicolau on the outside. There was a fair bit of feeling out in the early going, as Royval attempted to corner Nicolau. When he finally did close the distance on Nicolau, the fight was over in a flash!
Royval cut off the cage as Nicolau circled, and fired a knee straight up the middle that connected flush with the chin of the Brazilian. Nicolau’s head snapped back, and he went crashing to the canvas. Royval followed up with a couple of elbows as Nicolau tried to hang on, but it was all for not. Nicolau was done, and soon enough, the ref moved in to make the save.
— UFC (@ufc) April 16, 2023
With an explosive, quick finish, it’s now hard to argue against Brandon Royval getting a shot at gold. Next up for the title is Alexandre Pantoja, who is expected to face champ Brandon Moreno in July. Beyond that, the only fighters ranked above Royval are Deiveson Figueiredo, who has lost twice to Moreno, and Kai Kara-France, who is coming off a loss.
“Welcome to the Raw Dawg show, we want that belt next!” a fired up Royval exclaimed following the win.
Official Result: Brandon Royval def. Matheus Nicolau by knockout (knee and elbows), Round 1, 2:09