Revenge Factor: Moreno Looks to Hand Royval Another Defeat

February 21, 2024
2 months

If Brandon Moreno and Brandon Royval weren’t set to fight at Arena CDMX in Mexico City this Saturday, they could be meeting somewhere in a support group. Both men recently fought Alexandre Pantoja for the UFC flyweight championship and lost a decision. Moreno is a former champion who had a famous four-fight series with Deiveson Figureido for the belt.

Royval is a high-octane fighter who has never been able to capture gold in the UFC. What makes Royval an appealing fight for Moreno is that he attempts to finish fights. During the first fight between the two men, Moreno was able to knockout Royval with 1 second left in the first round at UFC 255 in November 2020.

Since then, Royval has gone 3-2, with his only two losses coming to Pantoja. Moreno is 3-2-1 since their last meeting and gained and lost the UFC flyweight championship in the process. With how Royval fights, MMA news sites anticipate this will be a high-action fight. Expect this one to finish earlier rather than later.

Moreno will have openings to secure a finish to this fight. While Royval also has an opportunity to bring a stop to this bout early, this is a spot for Moreno to gain a lot of momentum.

Bets to consider: Under 3.5 (+108), Moreno by KO +400

Rodriguez and Ortega Look for Featherweight Title Shot

Ilia Topuria opened the door for former challengers of Alexander Volkanovski to earn another chance at the top. Yair Rodriguez and Brian Ortega are both former victims of Volkanovski. Rodriguez and Ortega have also fought each other before.

Ortega suffered a shoulder injury in their first-round match back in July 2016. Rodriguez would build off the momentum quickly, beating Josh Emmett by submission to claim the interim featherweight championship before being knocked out by Volkanovski at UFC 290.

It’s hard to say what Ortega has left in the tank. Since Ortega lost by TKO to Max Holloway in December 2018, Ortega has only fought thrice. He beat the Korean Zombie and nearly upset Volkanovski but lost a decision in the title fight.

Coming off a shoulder injury, it’s hard to want to back Ortega in this spot. Rodriguez is the fresher fighter and has been more active.

Bets to consider: Rodriguez -175, Rodriguez by finish

Zellhuber Looks to Build on Strong Record

Mexican fighter Daniel Zellhuber has done a solid job of building his record. Now, Zellhuber needs to pick up a few wins to make people take notice. Zellhuber has a 14-1 record with seven knockouts.

There will be 10 Mexican fighters who compete this weekend. Zellhuber, 24, is the one who seems to have the potential for a coming-out party. The UFC gave Zellhuber a solid dance partner for making a big statement. Argentina fighter Francisco Prado, 21, is coming off a TKO win over Ottman Azaitar. 

Prado doesn’t have a lot of high-level experience. He is 1-1 since coming into the promotion but has a knack for finishes. This should be a fun clash of styles.

Bets to consider: Under 2.5 (-115), Zellhuber -270

Rosas Jr. Ready for Another Fight Before He Turns 20

Raul Rosas Jr. made waves when he competed on Dana White’s Contender Series at the age of 18. Rosas dominated that night with his grappling and earned a spot on the UFC roster. MMAfighting latest updates show that Rosas is 2-1 so far during his time in the UFC.

Both of Rosas’ wins have come by stoppage. The young man, Rosas is 19, will next be tasked with fighting Ricky Turcios. Turcios, 30, is 2-1 in the UFC since he joined the promotion in 2021. Ten of Turcios’ 15 career fights have gone the distance.

Turcios isn’t a star prospect by any means. But Rosas has to prove that he can beat up on lower-level veteran fighters before getting a push up the card. Rosas should dominate the grappling here but won’t secure a finish.

Bets to consider: Over 2.5 (-130), Rosas -230

Jauregui Looks to Regain Honor

There was hype that Yazmin Jauregui may be a legitimate contender to one day be the strawweight champion. Then she fought Denise Gomes last July. All of Jauregui’s hype disappeared when Gomes hit her with vicious punches early in the fight.

Gomes knocked her out in 20 seconds at UFC 290 to drop Jauregui’s record to 10-1 on her career. Jauregui, a strong striker, is hoping that fighting in her home country will help spur her on to a win over American Sam Hughes.

Hughes looked like a fighter who may be cut after losing to Luana Pinheiro in November 2021, which was her third straight loss, and fell to 5-4 on her career. However, Hughes has rallied to win three of her past four fights.

Hughes is a well-rounded fighter but won’t be able to measure up to Jauregui’s striking.

Bets to consider: Jauregui by decision

Torres Has Shown Solid Finishing Streak

Manuel Torres has made a big impact since his debut on Dana White’s Contender Series. Torres earned a contract by knocking out Kolton Englund in the first round. He followed that up with knockout wins over Frank Camacho and Nikolas Motta.

Torres will now have to fight against Chris Duncan, who has won four straight fights, two of which came on the UFC main roster. While Duncan earned his spot with a KO win in the Contender Series, his last two wins came via decision, according to the latest MMA news.

  • Lightweight, Torres (-175) vs. Duncan (+145)
  • Bantamweight, Cristian Quiñonez (+160) vs.Raoni Barcelos (-192)
  • Flyweight, Jesus Santos Aguilar (+130) vs. Mateus Mendonça (-155)
  • Lightweight, Edgar Chairez (-360) vs. Daniel Lacerda (+285)
  • Flyweight, Claudio Puelles (+180) vs. Farès Ziam (-218)
  • Flyweight, Luis Rodríguez (-120) vs. Denys Bondar (even money)

Find all the latest boxing news and MMA breaking updates on

By Dean McHugh.