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UFC Mexico Main Event: Moreno vs. Royval

UFC Mexico Main Event: Moreno vs. Royval

UFC MEXICO MAIN EVENT: MORENO VS. ROYVAL – Heading back to Mexico City for the first time in over four years, the UFC has brought a solid card to please the local fans, but also give the masses matchups that could produce fireworks.

The co-main event is a five-round rematch between Yair Rodriguez and Brian Ortega. A fight that ended due to an injury to Ortega, so there is some unfinished business there. Another fight that has sparked this weekend’s rematch due to injury goes down in the main event.

Brandon Moreno looks to get back to a title shot after losing it to Alexandre Pantoja in his last fight.

Brandon Royval aims to bounce back after his title fight loss to Pantoja in December, taking this opportunity on somewhat short notice to establish himself as the rightful contender again.

Will the former champion cement himself as the number one contender? Or will Royval spring an upset to position himself back against the champion? Read on to see how these flyweights match up and how I believe it will transpire.


Hey, while you’re at it, click here to check out our Godzilla Wins Daily Staff Picks!

Brandon Moreno

One of the feel-good stories of the UFC, Moreno believed that he would become the UFC champion one day as we saw in the now famous post-fight interview from back in the day.

Of course, he achieved those dreams when he finished Deiveson Figueiredo in June 2021. Moreno would then go on to lose to Figueiredo in his following fight, win the interim belt against Kara-France in July 2022, then unify the belts successfully against his old foe in January 2023. Unfortunately, in his last outing, he fell victim to Pantoja who had defeated him originally back in 2018.

The best part of the Moreno story is seeing his improvements on a fight-by-fight timeline. He has become so comfortable in the striking realm, using his jab, footwork, and cardio to pressure his opponents with damage.

His wrestling skills have tremendously improved to the point that his opponents have found it hard to keep him contained on the mat. I believe the biggest part of his improvements is his confidence. Once he realized he is good enough to win the title, he showed that in his performances and it allowed him to reach new heights.

Brandon Royval

Joining the UFC back in 2020, Royval has put together a solid run that has seen him work to a title shot. He has defeated high-level fighters like Tim Elliot (which was his debut), Kai-Kara France, Matt Schnell, and Matheus Nicolau.

The only fighters he has lost to are Brandon Moreno (albeit due to an injury), and Alexandre Pantoja twice. In the first Pantoja meeting, he was submitted in the second round. In the second meeting back in December, he showed he had improved, but it still was not enough for him to deal with the pure BJJ advantage that Pantoja held over him.

Royval is mostly known for his chaotic and entertaining style. Although he does not show much technique in his game, it’s the chaotic nature in which he fights that has made him so successful.

Opponents are bewildered at times in terms of what Royval will do next and where the strike will come from. From spinning elbows, to flying knees, to erratic scrambling scenarios, Royval is all-action, all the time. What has made him so successful in certain matchups has caused him issues against the top of the division. Guys can take advantage of the openings that Royval leaves while he tries to flow freely and catch his opponents off guard.

The Pick

In their first meeting, which took place back in November 2020, Moreno showed his hand that he wanted to take a grapple-heavy approach to contain Royval.

He was somewhat successful in doing so, even though Royval was working back to his feet in certain spots. I suspect we will see Moreno utilize the same approach this time even though he can be successful in the striking realm. I don’t think Royval can throw anything at Moreno that Moreno won’t be anticipating nor that he can counter effectively.

Whether it’s a counter punch or to change levels and take Royval down. Moreno is better all-around, without a doubt. I think it will be difficult for Moreno to put Royval away due to his squirminess and ability to stay in fights, so rather than tipping the chalky Moreno moneyline (which I wouldn’t be against parlaying), I’ll lean with the over 3.5.

This fight should primarily play out in the grappling realm with Moreno keeping Royval on his back and just chipping away at him.

Over 3.5 -145

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