Alexandre Pantoja pulled off a title shot deserving submission victory over Brandon Royval (12-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC) with a rear-naked choke in the Main Card Opener of UFC on ESPN 29 (UFC Vegas 34) on Saturday night at the UFC Apex Facility.
The fight as announced by UFC Dana White will determine the next challenger of UFC Flyweight champion and Pantoja needed it more and barring any unforeseen circumstances, he might have just punched his way to a title fight. That’s is if, White keeps to his promise.
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Pantoja and Royval both engaged with brutal exchanges in a grappling filled first round. Pantoja wasted no time in taking the fight to the Mat and had Royval defending leg as submission attempts. When they both got back, Pantoja was able to hurt Royval with punches, which forced the latter to cover up.
Royval was able to fight through the punch from the first round and in the second round Pantoja took the fight back to the Mat again, quickly worked his way to the back before locking in a rear naked choke. Royval resisted a little before giving up with a tap.
Pantoja was given an opportunity to call out his former foe and present flyweight champion Brandon Moreno, who was Cage side and he did but when Daniel Cormier tried to being up his two wins over the champ, Pantoja only had complimented to offer for his accomplishments.
“The first time I won (against) him on TUF, he came back to the UFC and made a bonus and everything. The second time when I won (against him) he defied and came back like a champ.”
Pantoja is now on a two fight winning streak, which includes his unanimous decision victory over Former Rizin Champion Manuel Kape back in February. Pantoja has had only two set backs since 2018, losing two fights to Deiveson Figueiredo and Askar Askarov. He has accumulated a 6-2 record since then.