Brandon Royval: My UFC 290 backup role proof fighters should self-advocate, call their shots

UFC flyweight contender Brandon Royval thinks he’s walking proof that self-promotion is an effective tool.

“I didn’t talk sh*t or anything,” Royval recently told MMA Junkie Radio.

Rovval (15-6 MMA, 6-2 UFC) will serve at the backup fighter for the July 8 title fight between champion Brandon Moreno (21-6-2 MMA, 9-3-2 UFC) and challenger Alexandre Pantoja (25-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) at UFC 290 in Las Vegas. Should one of those two men withdraw, Royval will fill in.

The opportunity was earned, no doubt. Royval has only lost to Moreno and Pantoja in his UFC career and currently rides a three-fight winning streak with consecutive victories over Rogerio Bontorin, Matt Schnell, and Matheus Nicolau. With that said, Royval attributes the solidification of further opportunities to his calls for them on the microphone.

“It’s just taking that initiative and calling your shots is the way to go in MMA,” Royval said. “People are really prideful. When you call someone’s name specifically, I feel like that’s the way to go, anyway – and if it makes sense. If it makes sense, I’m not doing anything crazy calling out. I can make any callout right now and it’d make sense because I’m that high in the division right now.”


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Royval said he will be paid an undisclosed amount to weigh-in at UFC 290 regardless of whether or not he fights. Should he be needed in an emergency situation, Royval said he will once again not be afraid to ask for what he wants – especially if he’s saving the day.

“I imagine if someone drops out, especially the week of or a couple days before, I’m in a big contract negotiation where it’s like, ‘I could save this card.’ The chips are a little in my hand,” Royval said. “I kind of feel like if that happens, that’s the way to go. As of now, I make an automatic check for making weight.

“… I have a game plan. I don’t know what his game plan is necessarily. At the end of the day, the dream is to win a belt. The opportunity is usually the best scenario. But with that being said, I’m not going to sell myself short. I feel like I should be making a lot of money as a fighter because I’m fighting nothing but top-ranked opponents since I’ve been in the UFC. The structure and the pay that it is, they’ve compensated me and they’ve done a really good job, but they aren’t necessarily like, ‘This dude is fighting top 10 and now he’s a top five fighter, he’s fought nothing but top five fighters most of his career.’ All of my fights have been like title eliminators in the UFC. I feel like I should be compensated. With that being said, I feel like if the balls are in my hands, the decks are in my hand, I’m going for the kill, for sure.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 290.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie