Brandon Royval vs Matheus Nicolau slated for UFC Fight Night 222

Brandon Royval vs Matheus Nicolau slated for UFC Fight Night 222

We’ve got an incredibly exciting flyweight match up scheduled for UFC Fight Night 222, and that’s a bout between no. 4 ranked Brandon Royval (14-6) and no. 5 ranked Matheus Nicolau (19-2-1).

UFC Fight Night 222 is to go down on April 15, 2023, live from the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri, and it is to be headlined by former UFC featherweight champion and no. 2 ranked featherweight contender Max Holloway, who faces no. 4 ranked Arnold Allen in the five round main event of the evening.

Reverting back to our encounter of flyweight contenders:

Brazil’s Matheus Nicolau first appeared in the UFC back in November of 2015 with a record of 10-1-1, where he went 3-0 through his first two years with the promotion, defeating the likes of Bruno Mesquita (Japanese necktie), former title challenger John Moraga (SD), and Louis Smolka (UD).

Nicolau would return half a year later in July of 2018, where he was KO’d by top contender Dustin Ortiz in round one, and he was released from the UFC following this lone promotional defeat.

Nicolau hasn’t lost since however, as he’d win his next two fights on the Brazilian regional circuit before resigning with the UFC.

Since then Nicolau has gone 4-0 (to make it six-straight), defeating the likes of former Rizin bantamweight champion Manel Kape (SD), former Titan FC flyweight champion Tim Elliott (UD), former GCF flyweight champion David Dvorak (UD), and former Legacy FC flyweight champion Matt Schnell (KO).

Denver, Colorado’s Brandon Royval on the other hand came to the UFC in May of 2020 with a record of 10-4 as the LFA flyweight champion, where he submitted Tim Elliott (arm-triangle choke) in round two of his promotional debut in an absolute back-and-forth scramble fest.

This was followed up by another submission victory, this one coming over no. 3 ranked Kai Kara-France (guillotine choke), also in round two. This was another crazy barn burner of a fight, and Royval was quickly becoming a fan favorite considering.

Back-to-back defeats would soon follow however, as Royval was injured in his fight with current UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno, losing the contest via TKO late in round one, and he was submitted (rear naked choke) by no. 2 ranked former RFA flyweight champion Alexandre Pantoja in his next outing.

Royval had never been finished before, and all of a sudden, he’d just been finished via TKO and submission in one year’s time. He’d rebound from this with a split decision victory over Rogerio Bontorin, someone he should have finished in the third and final round.

Bontorin was locked up in one of Royval’s armbars, and he tapped whilst in the hold, but the referee didn’t see it and allowed the action to continue.

Nonetheless, Royval was back to his winning ways, and he’d follow that victory up with another guillotine choke finish, this one coming over no. 8 ranked Matt Schnell midway through round one.

As you see, these two have a couple common opponents; both have defeated Tim Elliott and Matt Schnell.

Royval has gone 4-2 thus far into his UFC career, while Nicolau has gone 7-1 through his first eight octagon bouts.

This is such a great fight for the UFC to make at 125 lbs!

Who walks away from this flyweight encounter going down at UFC FN 222 the victor?

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Brady Ordway
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That's the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you'd like to see those pieces, be sure to check out!