Brandon Royval stunningly knocks Matheus Nicolau out in opening round at UFC on ESPN 44

Brandon Royval stunningly knocks Matheus Nicolau out in opening round at UFC on ESPN 44

The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to us tonight, April 15, 2023, for UFC on ESPN 44, going down live from the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Headlining the event is a match up of featherweight contenders, as former champion Max Holloway (23-7) faces no. 4 ranked Arnold Allen (19-1) in the main event of the evening.

Co-headlining the event is also a featherweight contest, this one between coming Edson Barboza (22-11) and Billy Quarantillo (17-4).

Co-headlining the preliminary card tonight was a flyweight affair showcasing no. 4 ranked Brandon Royval (15-6) and no. 5 ranked Matheus Nicolau (19-3-1).

Royval came into the bout riding a two-fight win streak, while Nicolau came in having won his last six-straight, including a 4-0 run since returning to the UFC in 2021. Ironically enough, both men are coming off stoppage victories over no. 8 ranked Matt Schnell, Royval having submitted (guillotine choke) him last May, and Nicolau having KO’d him this past December.

Continue reading to see how this flyweight contest went down:

Official Result: Brandon Royval def. Matheus Nicolau via KO (knee & punches) at 2:09 of round one

Royval opens up the bout moving a lot on his feet, and he’s pressuring Nicolau from the jump as he always does.

Nicolau catches him with a nice counter left as he’s coming in, though Royval remains unfazed and continues with his pressure.

Two minutes into the opening round Royval lands a beautifully timed and placed knee right up the middle that catches Nicolau right on the chin, dropping him on the spot. It looked like that was the end of the fight right then and there, but it took some follow up elbows on the mat for Royval to secure the stoppage victory.

Brandon Royval just extended his win streak to three-straight by handing Matheus Nicolau his first defeat since returning to the UFC, bringing Nicolau’s promotional record from 7-1 to 7-2.

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