Roman Kopylov: Chasing The Dream

“We were scheduled to fight back in the summer, and I think he got injured or something, so he wasn’t able to fight; that’s why I fought Josh that time,” began the surging finisher, who has finished all but one of his dozen career victories inside the distance. “But as they say, ‘What was written must happen’ — you can’t escape what was written, and that’s why this fight must happen.

“He’s in the rankings already, he’s No. 15, and I guess it’s my turn to switch with him in the rankings,” continued Kopylov, further detailing the draw of stepping in with Hernandez, who also arrives on a four-fight winning streak. “I want this fight to keep climbing up the ladder, show good fights, and get better every time.”

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After entering last year below .500 in the UFC and off the radar in the middleweight division, Kopylov begins his 2024 campaign as one of the hottest fighters in the weight class, slated to kick off the main card of the first of three highly anticipated pay-per-view events over the next three months, with a place in the rankings likely on the line.

It’s been a whirlwind year and a lot to take in, but it has all affirmed to him that the work has been worth it.

“For me, the most important in all these results is the happiness I bring to the people around me, to the people that support me — to my family, to my coaches, to the team that puts in so many hard hours in practice,” he said. “We keep working and sometimes you get tired, sometimes you get injuries, and you have to work through injuries, and all this hard work, for me, is a payoff for what happens inside the Octagon.

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