On UFC 253, Brandon Royval is set to take on a very tough fight in Kai Kara-France. The two flyweights are some of the most dynamic strikers in the division and always bring the heat any time they step into the octagon. We spoke with Royval ahead of his fight on UFC 253 and got to know the surging flyweight fighter a little better.
Check out the podcast episode of this interview with Brandon Royval below on Spotify and anywhere else you catch your podcasts!
Growing up, it was the stand up combat sports that attracted Royval to competing. He loved boxing and followed his older brother to the gym. It was all ultimately about proving himself to his brother.
“I was a huge boxing fan when I was younger. When UFC started coming around, I liked the kickboxing and the standup part of it. I was training with my brother a lot in kickboxing and boxing. He started progressing and learning the Jiu Jitsu aspect of it and I had to adapt. Long story short, it was to beat up my brother.” He continues about his favorite boxer, “Oscar De La Hoya was my favorite boxer, man.”
Royval said after his first fight against Tim Elliott that he had to go back and work 40 hours in a real job at a juvenile detention center. Now, he’s been able to quit that job and concentrating on fighting full time. Between that and the pandemic, Brandon Royval has found a lot of free time on his hands and has been trying to fill it out the best way he can.
“It’s kind of weird now because of the pandemic. I do a lot of paddle boarding and I go to a lot of comedy shows. Well, I used to, but it’s not really an option anymore. Now, I just twiddle my thumbs and wait until next practice. I used to have a job and now that I’m not working I play a lot of Call of Duty. I’m trying to get good at that game but the last month I’ve just been dying in Call of Duty.”
But, for Royval, it’s no big deal for him and in Colorado, it’s all the same as it’s been since he got there. “Nothing’s really changed for me. It’s kind of business as usual for us. We didn’t slow down. In Colorado, people are driving around, kids are out in the park, it’s like there’s no pandemic going on over here.”
Brandon Royval at UFC 253
Royval knows where it’s at when it comes to prize fighting. When asked what can fans expect, he assured fans that they were in for a good night of action when he and his opponent, Kai Kara-France, step into the cage. After all, they are flyweights.
“You can expect $50,000 extra in my pocket,” Royval said with a big grin. “I’m just kidding. I’m just chasing bonuses. I’m trying to go out there and put on a good fight and I’m trying to go out there and perform to showcase my skills to the fullest. Kai Kara-France is a great opponent to do that.”
The flyweight division is alive and well. With knockouts from Deiveson Figueiredo, Tyson Nam, and relentless pressure from Merab Dvalishvili, the often forgot division is more exciting now than ever. With Rovyal in the mix, taking on Kara-France, this is another one for the lovers of non-stop action and superb striking ability.
“I love it! I’m so glad that I can be a part of it now. It’s an exciting division. I think that back in the day, a lot wrestlers and grapplers is where we lost a little bit of hype in the flyweight division. But you see guys finishing each other and guys knocking people out. It’s a bunch of kids getting signed from the Contender Series. We have a lot of new blood and a lot of new hype behind all that. It’s such a great opportunity to be part of this division now that it’s super exciting. I don’t think there’s been a boring flyweight fight in a long time now. It’s been cool to be a part of this on.”
As for his fight with Elliott at UFC Vegas 1, Royval is still not happy with how he performed. But now, he’s simply grateful for the opportunity to face off against an opponent that will let him shine.
“I don’t think I was happy with the whole entire thing. Now, it’s cool, but looking back, now I get the opportunity to go fight Kai Kara-France on UFC 253. Just the opportunity itself is awesome. The performance in the Tim Elliott fight, I was happy to win. I was just happy to win that fight, obviously you want to win every fight, but I was really happy I could go out there and do that.”
Brandon Royval is a product of the LFA regional circuit. The talent put out from LFA to the UFC is astounding, only rivaled by the UK’s promotion, Cage Warriors. But, Royval says it’s LFA that reigns supreme in the UFC as far as regional talent. “LFA, it’s not a question. If you look at the card on the 19th, half the card is LFA alumni. That’s where they’re getting all their studs. That’s the best promotion out there that’s not the UFC.”
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Your friendly neighborhood fight fan. I watch way too many fights and my wife lets me know it. Also, Cowboy Cerrone is the GOAT.