UFC president Dana White called the Alexandre Pantoja vs. Brandon Royval fight at Saturday’s UFC Vegas 34 a flyweight title eliminator.
Back at UFC 263 in June, Brandon Moreno submitted Deiveson Figueiredo to become the new UFC flyweight champion. However, he has yet to be booked for his first title defense, though there are a number of potential contenders at 125lbs who want the title shot, including Figueiredo in a trilogy, Askar Askarov in a rematch, and a fresh fight against former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt. However, it appears as though those other fighters may have to wait to see what happens on Saturday night between Pantoja and Royval.
Pantoja is the No. 3 ranked flyweight in the UFC while Royval is ranked at No. 6, so they are two of the best fighters at 125lbs, and they kick off the UFC Vegas 34 main card on Saturday night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. Speaking to UFC reporter Laura Sanko ahead of the event, White was asked where the winner of Pantoja vs. Royval stands at 125lbs. According to White, the winner will get the next title shot.
“It’s a very important fight (for the UFC flyweight division) and, even though I love the main event (between Kelvin Gastelum and Jared Cannonier) — and I think the main event is going to be a war — I think that (Pantoja vs. Royval) will be the ‘Fight of the Night,'” Dana White said. “This fight pretty much determines who will get the next shot (at 125lbs).”
Pantoja has previously fought Moreno twice, beating him by submission on TUF and then winning a decision over the champ in the UFC, while Royval is coming off of a TKO loss to Moreno in his last fight where he suffered an injury. It stands to figure that Pantoja would have a clearer path to the title just based on his previous victories over Moreno, but should Royval look impressive, he could get the rematch himself.
Who do you think wins at UFC Vegas 34 between flyweight contenders Alexandre Pantoja and Brandon Royval?
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