The UFC recently signed one of Russia’s brightest prospects in Roman Kopylov, and he’ll be making his debut next month.
On September 15 of last year, the UFC came to Russia for the first time in promotion history and it was an instant success despite many injuries to the card. Now on April 20, 2019, the UFC is coming to St.Petersburg, Russia. There are many talented Russian prospects that could debut on this card, but many were surprised when FNG middleweight champion, Roman Kopylov announced he signed with the UFC. It was then later announced he will take on Krzysztof Jotko (19-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC).
Get to Know Roman Kopylov:
Roman Kopylov was born in Novosibirsk, Russia. Kopylov, before going into MMA, had an extensive career in Combat Sambo. He was a multi-time Russian and European Champion and also a five-time world hand-to-hand combat champion. In April of 2016, Kopylov made his MMA debut and it has been smooth sailing since. He’s fought for some big promotions out of Russia in Fight Nights Global and ACB. In March of last year, Kopylov won the FNG middleweight title and nine months later defended his belt. You can learn more about Kopylov in this interview with Cageside Press.
How Roman Kopylov Will Fare in the UFC:
Roman Kopylov is a stud and one of the best signings in a while from the UFC. I think he’s easily a future top-15 fighter and possibly a future title contender, but that’s hard to tell at this point. Kopylov is mainly a striker and he’s been able to stay upright in his fights with excellent takedown defense. He has some of the best fundamentals I’ve seen in a bright up-and-comer. Kopylov has a good jab and dangerous left hand. It’s the small things that make a difference and that’s his constant twitches/feints to keep his opponents guessing. He’s very accurate and his IQ in covering distance and staying at range is fantastic. Kopylov also likes to utilize kicks and he will throw some nice spinning kicks to the liver, which he excels at. Watch out for this guy, as he’s shown no weakness and that’s against good competition.
How Roman Kopylov Matches Up with Krzysztof Jotko:
Jotko at a time was on a five-fight win streak but now he is on a three-fight skid. Jotko is skilled on the mat but talking Kopylov down is a hard task. On the feet, Kopylov is better in every aspect. Jotko also has a tendency to slow as the fight goes and Kopylov gets better. This fight is made perfectly for Kopylov.