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Askar Askarov has his first assignment after falling short in a title eliminator earlier this year.
Askarov (14-1-1 MMA, 3-1-1 UFC) is targeted to take on Brandon Royval (14-6 MMA, 4-2 UFC) in a key flyweight bout set for a UFC Fight Night event Oct. 15. The promotion has not yet formally announced the card, or the bout, but a person with knowledge of the booking confirmed the fight’s plans to MMA Junkie on Wednesday. Royval’s management team posted the matchup on social media, as well.
Askarov dropped a decision to Kai Kara-France in March. Kara-France went on to an interim flyweight title fight this past Saturday at UFC 277, but was stopped by Brandon Moreno. It was his first loss as a pro and came after three straight wins over Tim Elliott, Alexandre Pantoja and Joseph Benavidez. Askarov settled for a split draw with Moreno in his promotional debut nearly three years ago after a perfect 11-0 pro start with 11 stoppage wins.
Royval started his UFC tenure with a submission of former title challenger Elliott in 2020, then submitted Kara-France at UFC. Both wins earned him Fight of the Night bonuses. But he was stopped with one second left in the first round by Moreno at UFC 253 and submitted by Pantoja in his follow-up.
Since then, though, he’s back on the upswing. He took a split decision from Rogerio Bontorin in January, and at UFC 274 in May he got another Fight of the Night bonus for his first-round submission of Matt Schnell for back-to-back wins.