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When it comes to making a UFC debut, there isn’t much more you can hope for than what Brandon Royval got.
Not only did he pick up a submission win in his first bid, but he did so against a former title challenger that even Demetrious Johnson was not able to finish. The win capitpaulted Royval into the top 10 of the flyweight division and put him on a lot of people’s radar.
With all that being said, Royval wasn’t happy. He left the fight with a bad taste in his mouth.
“You don’t want to feel like you get punked out there and that’s kind of how I felt like when I fought Tim Elliott,” Royval revealed. “I was getting punked a little bit and getting manhandled until he was gassed out.”
While he tips his cap to his veteran opponent and is thankful that he took the fight with him, he does wish he was able to showcase more of what he is about in the cage - which is not just someone who survives and picks up a win with the grit.
“I’m happy I overcame it, but that being said, you just couldn’t see much of my skills,” he said.“I was kind of reacting and responding, and it worked out in my favor, but it also just felt like maybe if Tim came out in a little better shape, maybe it wouldn’t have went that way and maybe I would have lost the fight.”
But while he looks down on that performance, he does recognize that is both because Elliott is extremely skilled and the style matchup was a tough one.
“I think that was a really bad matchup for me,” he said. “Tim Elliott is probably one of the harder matches for me in the flyweight division right now.”
Although he hangs on to that feeling he has moved on to the next one, which is a fight this weekend with #7 ranked Kai Kara-France. Once again, the Factory X product recognizes the skill of his opponent, but this time is ready to put on a showcase in what he thinks is an easier style matchup for him.
“I think that my ground is a lot better than [Kai Kara-France’s]. I think if it hits the mat I have the clear advantage, but I do want to showcase what I can do in the flyweight division,” he said. “And what I can do is I’m a well-rounded fighter. I’m a good striker, I’m a good jiu jitsu guy, and I think I can capitalize on him that way.”
Royval will get a second chance to make a first impression on Fight Island this weekend where he fights Kai Kara-France as part of the PPV main card of UFC 253.