Heading into UFC 253, Brandon Royval got to enjoy his first training camp as a full-time fighter.
After earning the $50,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus for his submission win over Tim Elliott in his UFC debut in May, the former LFA flyweight champion put in his two-weeks’ notice at his day job.
Royval (11-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who worked as a security guard at a juvenile detention center, finally got to put his full and undivided attention into fighting and it’s already had a positive impact on his training.
He credits a big sponsorship landed after his debut win, which helped make the decision to quit his job a lot easier.
“I got a sponsorship right after and it helped me out on a day-to-day basis and Ed and Cyrus from EAP Glass, they reached out to me after my fight, it’s just been unreal,” Royval told MMA Junkie. “I just have people backing me, I can’t even believe it.”
He continued, “I was getting injured, I wasn’t getting sleep, my diet was messed up, all the above. I love this sport so much, I was never gonna miss practice, but at the same time, it was overwhelming. When I wake up in the morning, I was like damn, I would have been getting off work like literally and getting ready to go to practice. The fact that I could just wake up on a full night’s sleep, I don’t even know how I did it.”
Royval faces Kai Kara-France on the UFC 253 main card on Saturday, a massive opportunity to be on pay-per-view in just his second UFC fight.
And out of all the matchups he could have asked for, Royval thinks Kara-France (21-8 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is the perfect fight for him.
“I see it going a million different ways,” Royval said. “I don’t see it necessarily playing out a specific way, but I definitely see me overwhelming him a little bit.”
He continued, “Honestly, it’s my style too. I go forward a lot, I throw a lot of punches, I attack a lot when we’re on the ground, and I have a little bit of an overwhelming style, and I think that’ll play into my benefit in this fight.”
UFC 253 takes place Saturday at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN2 and ESPN+.