Royval seeks redemption vs Moreno in UFC Fight Night

Rick Olivares - Philstar.com
Royval seeks redemption vs Moreno in UFC Fight Night
Brandon Royval (right)

MANILA, Philippines – No guts, no glory.

That’s what is in the mind of mixed martial arts fighter Brandon Royval as he took a last-minute and much ballyhooed fight against Brandon Moreno in UFC Fight Night on coming Sunday, February 25 at the Arena CDMX in Mexico City. 

The rematch between the two Brandons is the main event of the evening and is a sequel of sorts to their November 21, 2020 battle in UFC 55, where Moreno (21-7-2) took a first-round technical-knockout victory.

Royval (15-7) separated his shoulder right before the end, and he contests that it shouldn’t have been ruled a “technical knockout” as he got injured. Whatever it is, a loss is still a loss, although it does provide a lot of motivation.

More so since Royval looks at this opportunity to face Moreno again as a means to get out of his funk following that unanimous decision loss to Alexandre Pantoja in UFC 296 where although he battled, he was simply outclassed by the Brazilian in his first flyweight title defense.

“I’ve had roughly six weeks to get back into shape to take on Moreno,” shared Royval, whose inactivity and funk following the Pantoja loss made him “fat”. 

This will be the second time in Royval’s career where he’s had to fight in a quick turnaround. 

In late 2020, Royval defeated Kai Kara France in UFC 253 then less than two months later, took on a fight against Moreno, who came away with the win. 

When Royval returned a year later, he lost to Pantoja via rear naked choke in the second round. 

This time, it is Moreno with a little over two months since his last bout and following his second battle with Pantoja. 

Moreover, this will be Royval’s second fight outside the United States.

That win over Kara France was held in Abi Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates. 

This time though, the American walks into hostile territory as Moreno will be fighting in his home country of Mexico with a loud, highly partisan crowd backing up the hometown kid. 

One more thing both Royval and Moreno have in common is they are coming off losses to Pantoja. Moreno though lost via split decision. 

“I feel like the pressure is on him as he has to perform in front of his fans,” postulated Royval. “I’m the underdog and I am just happy to be here. I get to erase two of my demons if I get a win.”

In the six weeks he had to prepare for this fight, Royval did a lot of wrestling.

During that initial fight with Moreno, Royval did well standing up but the moment it went to the ground, Moreno took over until he separated his shoulder. 

“It’s a big fight, hey,” said a confident Royval. “In this business, you have to take risks. But when you get a win that makes it even sweeter.”

The card will be televised live on the Premier Sports channel on Sky Cable and Cignal as well as on streaming application Blast TV. The preliminary rounds begin at 9 a.m. while the main card gets underway at 11 a.m.

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