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Why Brandon Royval vs Alexandre Pantoja is the true UFC Vegas 34 main event

Brandon Royval vs Alexandre Pantoja

Jul 27, 2019; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Deiveson Figueriredo (blue gloves) and Alexandre Pantoja (red gloves) during UFC 240 at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

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At UFC Vegas 34, many fans will be looking forward to the main event bout between Jared Cannonier and Kelvin Gastelum. Maybe some odd ones (and there are many of those) are pumped to see the ole "Carpenter" Clay Guida back in action, and somehow, in the co-main event. But I want to let you in on something. The flyweight bout of Brandon Royval vs Alexandre Pantoja is the diehard fan's main event.

Brandon Royval vs Alexandre Pantoja is a battle of savages

Royval and Pantoja are elite-level flyweights, and their spots in the top six of the rankings prove that. However, beyond just being skilled fighters, these two are ice-cold killers. Both have risen to their respective rankings in different ways, but are similar in their destructive rise to being top flyweight.

"The Cannibal" just missed making it to the finals of season 24 of The Ultimate Fighter and has proven that setback was just a bump in the road during his Octagon run. Since the series, he's won seven of 10 in the UFC, and his three decision losses have come to some of the very best fighters in the division, in former champion Deiveson Figueiredo and top contender Askar Askarov. He has scored finishes in four of his victories (two submissions and knockouts a piece) and is never in a boring fight. Win or lose, and he mostly wins, the Brazilian gets his pound of flesh from opponents every time.

Although "Raw Dawg" has only had three fights in the Octagon, he has surged up the rankings by finishing top-15 flyweights in Tim Elliott and Kai Kara-France to start his UFC career. The former LFA 125-pound champion's first promotional loss in November came to the man currently wearing the division crown in Brandon Moreno, and that fight might have turned out differently if not for Royval suffering a bad shoulder injury in the first round. Like Pantoja, Royval brings chaos to the cage and can be a wave of momentum that few opponents have been able to overcome.

It's a showcase of what flyweight can be at it's best

What makes Royval and Pantoja outliers in the division, is that flyweight has often gotten a bad rap from fans because of the lack of finishes and mayhem some alumni bring. You don't have to worry about that when it comes to the current third and sixth-ranked men in the division. Pantoja and Royval bring hell with them when they enter the Octagon. Having these two champions of havoc clash will be a sight to behold.

What makes it all the more interesting, is Pantoja has a fan Royval. In a recent chat with, the Colorado native was open about his admiration for his upcoming opponent's style and complimented him by calling him the most dangerous fighter in the division -- after him of course.

“In my eyes, and how I think of things, Pantoja — besides myself — is the most dangerous person in the division,” Royval told

It could set up Brandon Moreno's first title defense

This matchup has easy fight of the night potential, but it very well could also be a flyweight title eliminator. Current champion Moreno still does not have an opponent yet for his first title defense.

The promotion made an immediate rematch when Moreno and Figueiredo's first bout went to a draw. After "The Assassin Baby" submitted his Brazilian rival in their June rematch, chances are the UFC may not go with a trifecta between the two so soon. Askarov has a claim to a title opportunity, but the unbeaten Russian doesn't have the most fan-friendly style in the division.

Both Royval and Pantoja also have a history with Moreno that makes a championship bout intriguing. Royval and Moreno have the aforementioned bout with a result heavily influenced by an injury. While Pantoja actually has two wins over the current flyweight king and could make the case he is the best fighter in the division because of that. A revenge fight for the Mexican star is an easy sell.