Somehow this matchup of highly ranked Flyweight finishers between Matheus Nicolau and Brandon Royval finds itself on the prelims of this week's card from Kansas City, headlined by Max Holloway vs. Arnold Allen.
Royval enters this contest as the #4 ranked Flyweight in the world with a record of 14-6-0. Nicolau is ranked one spot behind Royval at #5 with a record of 19-2-1.
Brandon Royval came into the UFC on fire after being known for his exciting fights in the LFA; he finished his first two UFC fights by submission over Tim Elliot and Kai Kara-France, which set him up for a title eliminator against Brandon Moreno, which he lost due to injury.
Royval has currently won two straight fights to get himself back on track with a decision over Rogerio Bontorin and a submission against Matt Schnell in the first round his last time out.
With a 4-2 record, including three submission wins in his exciting UFC run, it is expected that Royval will once again be hunting the finish as he searches for his first UFC title opportunity.
Matheus Nicolau joined the UFC in 2016 after competing on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil season four. After winning his first three fights, he suffered a knockout loss to Dustin Ortiz but has bounced back from that with six straight wins.
In those six fights, Nicolau has earned two finish victories, most recently with a knockout over Matt Schnell. He also holds a win over the highly touted Manel Kape in a close decision.
With an impressive UFC record of 9-1, Nicolau will look to continue his winning streak this weekend and cement himself as a title challenger in the Flyweight division.
Odds provided by Stake.com accurate as of 1:00 PM EST 4/10/2023
From a betting perspective, there has been some early action on the Nicolau side, which I agree with, as I also played him early to get the reduced price. I still agree with him being the side to play, as Royval plays a risky game in his fights while Nicolau is much more measured, which should help him control this matchup.
DougLasVegasBets.net Play: Matheus Nicolau -185