Brandon Royval: Solving an Awkward Puzzle

May 25, 2020

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When Brandon Royval makes his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut on May 30 in Las Vegas, he will do so against Tim Elliott—a man who offers an attack for which it can be almost impossible to prepare. While Elliott’s awkward style and strange tendencies are difficult to simulate in training, they are also the reason the matchup excites Royval. The reigning Legacy Fighting Alliance champion sees it as a puzzle he must solve in front of the world.

“I always tell people, when someone comes into the gym, it’s not the technical guy I’m ever worried about,” Royval said. “The technical guy I can almost predict what he’s going to throw. It’s that dude who doesn’t know what the f--- he’s doing, and all of a sudden, I’m getting pieced up by a guy on his first day. It’s just because it’s so unorthodox, so unpredictable. That being said, I’ve watched pretty much [the] last five years of fights [on Elliott]. I think I have a little bit of an advantage. I’ve had the opportunity to watch Tim Elliott a million times. I already knew what I was getting into when I said yes to that fight. I’d rather fight a way more technical striker. I don’t have a training partner that fights like him, [and] I probably have 50 training partners. It brings excitement and a little bit of a puzzle I can go pick apart.”

In this exclusive interview, Royval discussed his first Ultimate Fighting Championship deal, handicapped his forthcoming UFC on ESPN 9 clash with Elliott, considered whether or not fan interest has changed for him and pontificated on why winning the LFA title can be so important in a fighter’s journey.

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