Sometimes the chips just fall into place perfectly. For Brandon Royval, nearly a decade of scrapping on the Colorado regional fight scene didn’t necessarily leave him with a perfect, unbeaten record. But, it did leave him battle tested to the point that when his UFC debut finally came back in March, he seemed ready for just about anything.
Royval dropped into the UFC against former flyweight title challenger Tim Elliott, taking a second round submission victory over the former TUF: Tournament of Champions winner. He followed that up this past September, with another second round submission win—this time over top ranked Kai Kara-France.
Now, with the recent news that Cody Garbrandt has been injured and forced out of his upcoming title fight with Deiveson Figueiredo - and that Alex Perez has stepped up from his fight with Brandon Moreno to take Garbrandt’s place - it looks like Royval may be getting another big opportunity.
BJPenn.com reports that Royval is set to take Perez’s spot on UFC 255 against Brandon Moreno, with the expectation that the winner of that bout could be lined up for a shot at the belt in the future.
Exactly how far in the future remains to be seen, since Garbrandt recently revealed on Twitter that his bicep injury should only push his training back by about five weeks. After which, he still seems to expect to have a fight for the title waiting for him. Still, if that injury doesn’t heal as fast as he hopes, or if some other circumstance prevents that fight from going off, the winner of Royval vs. Moreno would be in prime position to battle for UFC gold.
‘The Assassin Baby’ enters this bout fresh off a victory over longtime contender Jussier Formiga back in March. That win kept Moreno unbeaten in his last four, including a draw against fellow top-ranked fighter Askar Askarov. Moreno formerly fought in the UFC from 2016-2018, but was released as part of the promotion’s plan to scrap the flyweight division. However, following a win on the regional scene – and a change of heart from UFC brass – Moreno made his return to the Octagon in September of last year.
UFC 255 is set to go down on November 21st. An official location for the card has not been named, with the most likely destination being the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas. Deiveson Figueiredo’s title defense against Alex Perez has been pencilled in to headline the event, with a women’s flyweight title fight between Valentina Shevchenko and Jennifer Maia set for the co-main. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and notes as fight night approaches.