UFC 302: Roman Kopylov Wants to Fight Twice More in 2024

Newark, NJ — “Of course I wanted it to be a little more of an exciting fight, but the most important thing is the victory,” Roman Kopylov said following a three-round unanimous decision win over Cezar Almeida at UFC 302 on Saturday.

Middleweight Kopylov (13-3) became the first to defeat Almeida, a highly decorated kickboxer who has shared the ring with Alex Pereira three times, in mixed martial arts. To do so, Kopylov took the obvious path, exploiting Almeida’s weakness in wrestling over the course of a grueling fight.

“Majority of my fights in my career did not last three rounds, they finished way earlier. So of course we knew that he was a very decorated kickboxer, we knew his base was kickboxing,” Kopylov told media outlets including Cageside Press backstage at the Prudential Center.

“The idea was to wrestle as much as possible. I think it was a new look for the fans, to see that I’m able to wrestle.”

At one point, Kopylov scored a knockdown, but failed to capitalize when letting a wounded Almeida back to his feet might have been the best option.

“I knew that I landed a really good shot. I didn’t really recognize it right away, but I heard my corner,” the 33-year old recalled. “My corner said ‘back up, let him up.’ If I did that earlier than I think I would have been able to finish the fight.”

Now hitting the end of his prime, the former FNG middleweight champ is looking to stay busy in 2024. “I want to be active. If possible, God-willing as they say, I’d love to fight two more times this year. I think I’ll be ready for September, and if it’s possible, if the promotion would allow it, I would love somebody from the top 15.”

As for who in the top 15 he’d like to face, “anybody,” finished Kopylov.

Watch the full UFC 302 post-fight press conference with Roman Kopylov above.