Brandon Royval’s style of fighting speaks to Marce Rojo.
An unlikely match considering Rojo trained Brandon Moreno to defeat Royval at UFC 255 this past November. The victory over Royval set Moreno up for a draw with champion Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 256 just a month later on Dec. 12.
Serving as Moreno’s main training partner at Entram in Tijuana, Mexico, Rojo emulated the fighting styles of Royval and Figueiredo. Something about Royval’s game stood out to the Argentinian. The 32-year-old even embraced the south-paw stance, elevating his own striking repertoire.
“I was just trying to learn, just trying to be more dynamic with my striking because I know I hit hard as [expletive], but now I hit hard as [Expletive] from southpaw too,” Rojo said.
“Royval’s style is just sticking to me, so I like it.”
Marce Rojo is fond of Royval’s spinning attacks
Royval is certainly someone worth emulating with a 12-5 record, including two “Fight of the Night” bonuses in three octagon appearances.
Rojo has plenty of inspiration inside his own team, which includes Moreno and UFC bantamweight Jose Quinonez. Rojo built quite the reputation of his own at 16-6, including an appearance on “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America.”
He is an established striker in his own right with eight victories by knockout/TKO, but the addition of Royval’s spinning elbows is adding more tools to his arsenal.
“It’s the matter of evolving,” Rojo said. “The sport is continuing to evolve, so fighters should too.”
Marce Rojo is a team player
Rojo last fought over a year ago in September 2019, a first-round knockout of Victor Hugo Madrigal at Combate Americas 45. “El Pitbull” may have been inactive as far as competition, but he’s been busy.
Rojo started fight camps with not only Moreno, but Quinonez, who fought Louis Smolka at UFC at UFC on ESPN 19 on Dec. 5. He never cut weight with his teammates, but he still dieted.
A fight never came for Rojo, but he still managed to broaden his skillset and make adjustments to the tools he already possessed.
“I used these camps just to get my body used to it,” Rojo said. “ I used this time to evolve and keep learning.”
Making a name
Although Rojo’s last fight is outdated, he thinks a UFC call up is the next logical step for him. A clear possibility is the upcoming season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” which includes middleweights and bantamweights.
Rojo is a strong believer that his stock is higher than ever. With Brnadon Moreno’s recent success for Entram, the entire team is motivated to impact the sport.
Whether it’s “The Ultimate Fighter” or a last-minute call up, Rojo is waiting. He is ready to join Moreno, Quinonez and even Royval, on the UFC roster.
“There are a lot of guys I want to fight,” Rojo said. “There’s a lot of bantamweight I could handle.”