Thursday, December 8, 2022

Royval Campaigned For Main Event Slot At UFC Vegas 62

It may not have worked out in the end, but Brandon Royval did everything he could to try and make himself the headliner for UFC Vegas 62.

Royval was set to take on Askar Askarov on the event’s main card, and the battle between top men’s flyweights was circled by many fans as a highlight of UFC Vegas 62 prior to its last-minute cancellation yesterday.

The event is headlined by a women’s flyweight bout between Alexa Grasso and Viviane Araujo with Royval’s teammate Jonathan Martinez facing Cub Swanson in the night’s co-main event. Speaking at the UFC Vegas 62 media day, “Raw Dawg” was jokingly asked how he felt about his teammate stealing the co-main event slot from him.

“I love it, I love that he has an opportunity to be the co-main event,” Royval answered with a laugh. “Jonathan deserves it, he’s been working his butt off. He’s been working really hard man, and it was really cool. I knew when the main event dropped off, I immediately texted my manager and campaigned for me to try and get that main event spot.”

“I Was Hoping For That 5 Round Spot”

Grasso vs. Araujo is a significant bout in that it may put the winner in line for a title shot, but the women’s flyweight fight wasn’t the originally scheduled main event for UFC Vegas 62.

A middleweight contest between Sean Strickland and former title challenger Jared Cannonier was meant to be the event’s headliner, but Strickland’s finger infection resulted in that matchup being scrapped. Royval apparently saw that news via Twitter, and the 30-year-old immediately knew what fight should serve as the new main event.

Royval defeated Matt Schnell via first-round submission in May. (Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

“I was like ‘Hey, 5 rounds suits me well. I have really good cardio, I believe in my cardio a lot.’ And I was hoping for that 5-round spot. And I was like ‘Hey, I hear they’re not – this is Twitter talking – but I hear they’re not booking the Strickland/Cannonier fight or replacing the fight. We’re the top ranked on this card…I think the main event spot will suit us, if you guys can campaign for that, please do.'”

Sadly, card placement would ultimately be the least of Royval’s worries, as the fight against Askarov would be cancelled altogether due to Askarov having weight-cutting issues.

“Raw Dawg” is currently on a two-fight win streak and is the UFC’s #5-ranked flyweight contender.

If rebooked, do you believe Brandon Royval vs. Askar Askarov is worthy of being in a main event slot?