Brandon Royval expects to “drown” Matheus Nicolau at UFC Kansas City, hopes to serve as backup for flyweight title fight

By Cole Shelton - April 11, 2023

Brandon Royval was confident he would be fighting Matheus Nicolau next.

Brandon Royval

After Royval was cleared from his hand injury, he called out both Nicolau and Kai Kara-France as he wanted a top-five opponent. But, once Kara-France told him he was still injured, he turned all of his focus to Nicolau.

“It took a minute. I could be wrong about this, but I heard they weren’t going to sign Nicolau again,” Royval said on Just Scrap Radio on “I’m not 100 percent sure about that, but I know he wasn’t signed until I called him out. Maybe a month and a half, two months ago, I was like I needed a fight bad. I’m number four and number three and five didn’t have fights. So, I called both the guys out because I thought they would fight each other and I would get skipped over. I just wanted everyone to know I made an effort to make these fights happen. No disrespectful stuff ever. I just needed a fight and I want to progress my career and they are in the top five.”

Once the fight was confirmed, Royval began studying Nicolau and knows the Brazilian can frustrate opponents with his slow pace. Yet, Royval believes if he can also be patient he has all the tools to defeat the Brazilian.

“That fighting style causes people to want to get out of their position. He forced Matt Schnell out of a position and he was able to capitalize on that,” Royval said. “For me, just matching his patience a little bit, but I’m still me so I will probably push the pace really hard. That being said, I do want to match his patience a little bit and beat him in a chess match.”

Although Brandon Royval expects a slower-paced fight, he does think he can bring the chaos out at certain points.

If Royval can create some chaos at UFC Kansas City, he believes he will eventually drown Matheus Nicolau and get a stoppage win.

“I see it going into the later rounds, I see a second or third-round finish,” Royal said. “That being said, I don’t want to rush anything in the first round at all. I’m trying to be really patient this fight, and I’ve been really patient this camp. But, I want to pick it up on him later on. I definitely want to pick up the pace and I think I can drown anybody in this division. If I get a chance to do it, I’ll take it and I’ll sink Nicolau.”

Should Royval get the stoppage win on Saturday night, he says he has been told the winner will be the backup fighter for the next flyweight title fight. He knows that is a big opportunity, so it only adds to the motivation for this scrap.

“I heard they want the winner of this fight to be the backup for the Moreno-Pantoja fight,” Royval concluded. “I definitely want that because that’s a good opportunity in case anything happens, to already have a camp going, a weight cut going. Then, I also want to run it back with both of these dues anyways. So, get the win first and be the backup and get ready for the title fight.”

Do you think Brandon Royval will finish Matheus Nicolau at UFC Kansas City?


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