Brandon Royval rages about being on UFC Kansas City prelims — and Dana White agrees: ‘We f***** this up’


Brandon Royval isn’t interested in fighting on the prelims anymore after his emphatic finish at UFC Kansas City.

Much to the chagrin of Royval — as well much of the entire MMA community — he took on the streaking Matheus Nicolau in a flyweight contest on the preliminary slate of Saturday’s event at the T-Mobile Center, where Royval finished Nicolau in just over two minutes with a nasty TKO finish.

Speaking with reporters following the victory, Royval expressed his frustrations with the placement of the bout.

“I go and fight my ass off, and I’m the most dangerous dude in this division,” Royval said. “Like, what do you guys want from me, motherf*****? I’m putting it all out there. I should never be on a f****** prelim again. I’m top 5 in the world, I’ve been fighting top 5, top 10 since I’ve been in the UFC. I’ve been making statements and finishing all of these people in the UFC. I have all finishes.

“Why am I on a prelim? I got a Fight of the Night [or a bonus] in every single one of my fights. Why am I on a prelim? I’m top 5 in the division, I’m the second-highest ranked [fighter] on this whole entire card and I’m on a prelim. Why? It’s not like I’m a boring wrestler and I wrestle f*** these dudes. I go for the finish, I f****** put myself in danger. I don’t need to be doing that.”

Fortunately for Royval, UFC President Dana White agreed with that assessment.

“He’s not wrong,” White said Saturday at UFC Kansas City’s post-fight press conference. “Listen, we’re really good at what we do, but we f*** up sometimes. We do. I literally said … ‘We f***** this up.’ This kid should’ve opened the show tonight. He’s right.”

In his post-fight interview with Daniel Cormier, Royval called his shot to be the backup for the upcoming flyweight title fight between Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja scheduled for UFC 290 on July 8—which coincidentally enough features the two UFC opponents to defeat Royval during his octagon tenure.

The No. 8 flyweight in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings said that discussions are already underway for him to be in that spot for the July event. White echoed those sentiments.

“I’m going to be the backup in July,” Royval said. “It’s already being discussed, even Dana White said this was a title eliminator. They want statements to be made. I told Mick Maynard, ‘Hey, [re-sign] Matheus Nicolau — because they weren’t going to sign him — and I said I would put him away. I said there was no way this would be a boring fight, I promised [him] that, and that’s exactly what I did.”

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