UFC flyweight contender Brandon Royval has big plans for 2021, and that begins with his recently-announced fight with third-ranked contender Alexandre Pantoja at a UFC Fight Night on August 21st.

After a few months away from the sport due to his recovery from surgery on a torn labrum he suffered in his last fight against Brandon Moreno at UFC 255, Royval is re-motivated and re-energized, and ready to challenge the best fighters in the UFC’s resurrected flyweight division.

Royval recently sat down to speak with LowKickMMA and brought some insight into what his recovery from his second shoulder surgery has been like.

“It’s been a roller coaster and it’s been a great ride in a million different ways,” Royval said. I’m a huge Jabber and being a southpaw, my right hand is my money. So it was almost a weird blessing in disguise where it’s like, I can brush up on a bunch of different other things and be a student of the game that way. And more importantly, brush up my mind.”

READ MORE:  Dricus du Plessis lays out plan to defeat UFC rival Israel Adesanya: 'I think there's a clear path to victory versus him'

Royval has the opportunity to seek revenge on the flyweights after suffering his first loss in the UFC. The former LFA flyweight champion had won his first two UFC bouts against Kai Kara-France and Tim Elliott before the TKO loss to Moreno.

UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo and Moreno are scheduled to fight in a re-match at UFC 263. Figueiredo and Moreno fought to a majority draw in their first bout at UFC 256.

READ MORE:  How to Bet on MMA Like a Pro

The winner between Royval and Pantoja has the opportunity to be next in line for the title, and in the worse case fight second-ranked contender Askar Askarov later this year.

Another development in Royval’s life has been quitting his full-time job as a youth services specialist in Colorado’s juvenile justice system. Royval worked with juveniles for a living before his win over Kara-France, leaving the position to focus on full-time fighting shortly after.

While he’s left his previous career path, he still works with kids in the Denver metropolitan area including his gym Factory X’s Dream Center program. The purpose of the program is to engage with troubled local youth and encourage them to begin a better path in life away from crime and other gang activities.

READ MORE:  Joe Rogan gives Conor McGregor's 'perfect sh*t-talking' his seal of approval

First thing’s first for Royval, as he begins preparation to compete against a very tough Pantoja on another big stage. Despite the layoff due to injury, he’s ready to leave a legacy as one of the best flyweights in the world.

“I get to go back in there against the number three guy in the world, Royval said. “I didn’t get to lose too much stock in myself. I’m pretty stoked that I have an exciting opportunity to kind of keep moving up and going up the rankings.”

Do you think Brandon Royval has what it takes to become UFC flyweight champion?

Curtis Calhoun is a Combat Sports Contributor based in Seattle, Washington. After a longtime dream of becoming a sports journalist, he was able to accomplish his goals upon graduating from Washington State University in 2016.