Top flyweight contender Brandon Moreno continued his recent success on Saturday, but did so in an unusual fashion.
An action-packed UFC 255 featured preliminary bout between Moreno (18-5-1 MMA, 6-0-1 UFC) and Brandon Royval ended after Royval (12-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC) suffered a shoulder injury in the closing seconds of Round 1.
The fight was stopped at the 4:59 mark when Royval, who was in agonizing pain after his shoulder popped out of the socket, stopped defending himself from Moreno’s ground-and-pound.
The injury came after some wild exchanges on the feet and a takedown by Moreno. Once on the mat, Moreno worked for submissions from the back but was unable to sink in a rear-naked choke attempt. After Royval returned to guard, he attempted to grab hold of Moreno’s leg. When torquing on the limb, Royval’s shoulder popped and led to the stoppage.
In between the stoppage and the official decision, Factory X head coach Mark Montoya was seven on camera popping Royval’s shoulder back into place.
With the victory, Moreno is now 3-0-1 in his past four fights dating back to September 2019. Moreno was originally scheduled to fight Alex Perez on Saturday, but Perez was elevated to the main event title fight against champion Deiveson Figueiredo after Cody Garbrandt withdrew due to health issues.
As for Royval, the loss is his first defeat since he signed with the promotion in early 2020. His four-fight winning streak dating back to May 2019 was snapped.
The flyweight bout closed out the UFC 255 preliminary card at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It aired on ESPN2/ESPN+ ahead of the main card on pay-per-view.
Up-to-the-minute UFC 255 results include:
Brandon Moreno def. Brandon Royval via TKO (injury) – Round 1, 4:59
Joaquin Buckley def. Jordan Wright via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 0:18
Antonina Shevchenko def. Ariane Lipski via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 4:33
Nicolas Dalby def. Daniel Rodriguez via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Alan Jouban def. Jared Gooden via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Kyle Daukaus def. Dustin Stoltzfus via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Sasha Palatnikov def. Louis Cosce via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 2:27