Kara-France (24-11 MMA, 7-4 UFC) lost a split decision to Albazi (17-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) in this past Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 45 headliner at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Like many, Royval disagreed with the judges’ scorecards.
Royval (15-6 MMA, 5-2 UFC) is pegged as the backup for the flyweight title fight between champion Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja at UFC 290. But after Albazi beat Kara-France, not only did he jump Royval in the rankings, but Dana White said the next title challenger is still up for debate.
Dana White says Brandon Royval isn't a lock over #UFCVegas74 winner Amir Albazi for the next flyweight title shot.
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) June 4, 2023
“I thought at the very least, even if Albazi won, it’s not deserving of a title performance and it’s not really deserving to jump me in the rankings,” Royval told MMA Underground. “I thought that immediately, I was like, ‘Cool, he ain’t gonna beat me in the rankings and he’s not gonna take my title shot from me.’
“I was pretty stoked. Then I saw Dana White’s interview and I was like, ‘What the f*ck?’ If they’re really gonna jump me over that performance, that’s f*cking crazy. I’m not even trying to say just over my winning over Kai Kara-France.”
Royval beat Kara-France in a more definitive way than Albazi, submitting him at UFC 253. Royval then dropped two straight to Moreno and Pantoja, before rebounding with three straight wins – most recently snapping Matheus Nicolau’s six-fight winning streak with a first-round knockout in April.
“Raw Dog” thinks his body of work has been much more impressive than that of Albazi.
“That was a sh*tty fight,” Royval said on Albazi vs. Kara-France. “It was definitely not him (Albazi) winning. If it was, it was the razor-ist of winning, barely. It was a very underwhelming performance. Then if you compare performance vs. performance and we go the resume that Matheus Nicolau had compared to Amir Albazi, it’s like, ‘There’s no way he’s gonna jump me in the rankings.’ This dude’s never fought anybody and the fight that was supposed to be a big one, nobody really thinks he won it.”
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For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 45.