ABU DHABI – Brandon Royval wants to keep climbing the ladder.
The rising UFC flyweight contender thinks he’s ready to take on the top of his division following his second win in the promotion. Royval (12-4 MMA, 2-0 UFC) submitted Kai Kara-France in the second round of their main card bout at UFC 253 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
Royval now has notable back-to-back submission wins since joining the UFC. He submitted former UFC title challenger Tim Elliot in May at UFC on ESPN 9. Royval said he thinks he can hang with anyone in the division.
“I feel like I’m here,” Royval said at the UFC 253 post-fight news conference. “I’m ready to take over this place. I’m here. I feel like I’m competing. I feel like I should’ve been in the UFC a long time ago.
“I feel like I could’ve been wrecking all these guys. That being said, I think I can take all these guys that are ranked ahead of me. I can compete with all these guys.”
Royval wants to take some time off, look at his fight with Kara-France (21-9 MMA, 4-2 UFC), and fix technical aspects of his game. The 28-year-old doesn’t have a date for a potential return, but he does have some names.
“I want (Askar) Askarov or I want (Jussier) Formiga,” Royval said.
Royval is unsure when he’ll be back in the cage, but left fans with a fight to remember. Royval and Kara-France won $50,000 “Fight of the Night” bonuses after their wild exchange in the first round.
Royval admitted he was hurt in the fight, but maybe not as bad as some might think.
“I think on the first one, I got more rocked than anything. The second one, I was off balance,” Royval said. “I think I was throwing a kick or something and then I got smoked on that one, but it was more being off balance than anything. It wasn’t like I was going to go out.”