‘A hella good fight’ — UFC 296: Pros react to Alexandre Pantoja’s successful defense 

See how fans and fighters alike reacted to what happened between Alexandre Pantoja and Brandon Royval at UFC 296 this Saturday.

By: Kristen King | 2 months
‘A hella good fight’ — UFC 296: Pros react to Alexandre Pantoja’s successful defense 
UFC 296's Alexandre Pantoja (blue gloves) reacts to defeating Brandon Moreno (red gloves) during UFC 290 at T-Mobile Arena. | Stephen R. Sylvanie / USA TODAY Network, IMAGO

Alexandre Pantoja retains title against Brandon Royval at UFC 296

Alexandre Pantoja continues to reign the UFC flyweight division after his successful defense against Brandon Royval at UFC 296 this past Saturday. For his first defense after dethroning former champion Brandon Moreno, the ‘Cannibal’ faced another familiar foe in Royval, who he already defeated via second-round submission two years ago. This time, these two went the distance in a very fun fight, which ultimately saw Pantoja use his superior grappling to ground ‘Raw Dawg’ for the majority of the five rounds.

Here is how Round 5 went, courtesy of the play-by-play provided by our own Stephie Haynes:

Pantoja looks exhausted. Royval is going to town in there. Royval pins Pantoja on the cage and works the right. Pantoja works his way back to the center and lands a big body kick but eats several up top. Pantoja shoots for a double but eats a nasty right on the way in.

Royval makes his way back up but Pantoja gets him back down. Pantoja is on top but Royval is fighting him tooth and nail. Pantoja has moved into half guard again. Royval trying to turn but Pantoja is head blanket heavy again. Pantoja now landing the left.

Pantoja trying to secure side mount but Royval is keeping him at bay. Pantoja briefly gets side mount but Royval scrambled back. Now Pantoja has full mount and is working to get to the back. Hammerfist by Pantoja as the horn sounds. Fight over. Outstanding scrap!

Thank you, Stephie!

Twitter reacts to Pantoja vs. Royval II

See how Twitter reacted to Alexandre Pantoja retaining his championship against Brandon Royval at UFC 296:

UFC 296 Full Results

Main Card

  • Leon Edwards def. Colby Covington by unanimous decision (49-46 x3)
  • Alexandre Pantoja def. Brandon Royval by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
  • Shavkat Rakhmonov def. Stephen Thompson by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:56 of Round 2
  • Paddy Pimblett def. Tony Ferguson by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
  • Josh Emmett def. Bryce Mitchell by KO (punch) at 1:56 of Round 1

Preliminary Card

  • Alonzo Menifield def. Dustin Jacoby by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
  • Irene Aldana def. Karol Rosa by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
  • Cody Garbrandt def. Brian Kelleher by KO (punch) at 3:42 of Round 1 
  • Ariane Lipski def. Casey O’Neill by submission (armbar) at 1:18 of Round 2

Early Preliminary Card

  • Tagir Ulanbekov def. Cody Durden by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:25 of Round 2
  • Andre Fili vs. Lucas Almeida by TKO (punches) at 3:32 of Round 1
  • Shamil Gaziev def. Martin Buday by TKO (punches) at 0:56 of Round 2

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About the author
Kristen King
Kristen King

Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016, getting her start with outlets such as FanSided, MyMMANews and MMA-Prospects. She joined the BE team in 2020, covering a mix of news, events and injuries. In her time with BE, Kristen has created ‘Fright of the Night,’ a series that highlights some of the worst injuries in the sport.

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