Matheus Nicolau ready for title shot with Royval win, predicts finish ‘before 3rd round’

Matheus Nicolau wishes to secure a title shot with an impressive win at UFC Kansas City.

By: Lucas Rezende | 2 months ago
Matheus Nicolau ready for title shot with Royval win, predicts finish ‘before 3rd round’
April 14, 2023, Kansas City, MO, Missouri, USA: KANSAS Kansas City, MO, MISSOURI - APRIL 14: Matheus Nicolau weighs in at 126lb ahead of his fight at UFC Fight Night Kansas City - Holloway vs Allen at T-Mobile Center on April 15th, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri, United States. Kansas City, MO USA - ZUMAp175 20230414_zsa_p175_051 Copyright: xMattxDaviesx

UFC flyweight contender Matheus Nicolau has big aspirations for his fight against Brandon Royval at UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Allen. Currently the number 5 ranked athlete in his division, the Brazilian hopes that an impressive victory over ‘Raw Dawg’ could finally secure him a long-awaited title shot.

Matheus Nicolau predicts a finish

In an interview with Brazilian MMA news outlet Ag Fight, Nicolau explained that although the decision to award a fighter a crack at the belt is ultimately the company’s, he plans to do everything in his power to earn it. At the same time, while the 30-year-old does have a title shot on his mind as a potential outcome of the match, he also wants to guarantee he is not losing sight of the task at hand, which is beating Royval this Saturday.

“I think that, if I can score a good win, a dominant win. If I can get a finish against Brandon Royval, then we’d be qualified to fight for the title,” Nicolau explained. “Nothing is certain, though. Right now, it’s up to the UFC. There’s no doubt we we will be qualified and ready (for the belt). I’m focused on beating Royval. I’m pretty confident I can finish the fight before the third round. If I can beat him soundly, everything else will be a consequence of that. When the opportunity comes, I will be ready.”

Matheus Nicolau knows Royval is a dangerous opponent

In order to defeat Royval, Nicolau believes he will need to stay alert at all times. Despite thinking he can finish the Factory X fighter before the third round, he’s well aware of the fact that his opponent can fight both on the ground and on the feet, which means Nicolau needs to be ready for all kinds of possible scenarios when the pair meets in the Octagon.

“He’s a well-rounded guy.” Nicolau said. “He’s good on the ground and on the feet. He likes to set the pace. He’s tall and a southpaw. I see that his strong suit is also where he has holes (that we can exploit). When he tries to set he pace, he also exposes himself a little bit. I need to be ready for this fight, focused, because he’s aggressive. He has good striking and grappling moves. I have to be ready to fight him anywhere. I’m sure it’s going to be a great fight for the fans.”

Matheus Nicolau is undefeated in his second UFC stint

Currently on a four-fight winning streak in the UFC, Matheus Nicolau (19-2-1) defeated Manel Kape, Tim Elliott, David Dvorak and—most recently, in December 2022—Matt Schnell. So far, Nicolau is undefeated in his second UFC stint. In fact, the Brazilian’s last loss dates back to the last match of his first tenure in the promotion, when he got knocked out by Dustin Ortiz and subsequently released, in July 2018.

Meanwhile, Royval (14-6) will look for his third straight win, having already defeated Matt Schnell and Rogerio Bontorin, respectively in May and January of 2022. Before that, the 30-year-old was on a two-fight losing skid, with stoppage defeats to Alexandre Pantoja and Brandon Moreno.

Matheus Nicolau vs. Brandon Royval is set to go down at UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Allen, in Kansas City, Missouri, on April 15. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a featherweight bout between former champion Max Holloway and rising British contender Arnold Allen. The night’s co-main event is set to feature another bout in the 145-pound division, between veteran Edson Barboza and Billy Quarantillo.

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About the author
Lucas Rezende
Lucas Rezende

Lucas Rezende is a Brazilian journalist and writer from Belem, Para. He has been covering MMA since 2012 and contributing with Bloody Elbow since March 2015. When not writing, Lucas also teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys reading, slapping the bass guitar and traveling.

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