Russian mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Roman Kopylov, going on a series of three knockout victories in Absolute Fighting Championship (UFC), on the eve of a new fight at the tournament in Las Vegas, answered pressing questions from a Sports correspondent.
About a quick return to the octagon
“I am undergoing training in Makhachkala, everything is according to plan,” the domestic athlete began. – Departure to the USA on the night of September 12 rival? Still, Fremd is less status …
– No, what to be upset about. Anything can happen in our business.
— Almost 11 centimeters difference in height. Have you ever fought such tall opponents?
It wasn't like that in the pros. In amateurs, I had to fight, in hand-to-hand combat.
In terms of wrestling, it will be harder for Fremdu: it will be difficult for a tall man to pass at the feet of a short one. I think he will work at a distance, use the length of his arms and legs. But we are not too low (laughs)! This factor should not disturb.
strong>- I understand that the opponent has an even shorter break between fights. But still, it's not hard to go to the fight on September 16, a month and a half after the last performance? -Healthy, nothing to worry about. The form is not lost – I rested for a week and returned back to Makhachkala. In amateurs, we used to go two or three times a month … In general, a normal mode for a fighter.
— One gets the feeling that weight races are easy for you.
— Do you assume that the meeting with Fremd will not be the last performance in 2023?
– It would be ideal to organize another fight. In December, there should just be a tournament where Conor McGregor should fight with Michael Chandler. Do I believe that this fight will take place? They write that Conor can be released from doping testing – we'll see.
On career changes
– Can you explain that changed after two losses at the start of a career in the UFC? The comeback was amazing.
– All goes to good. Those losses got me where I need to be. And that coach. Everything suits: sparring partners, the atmosphere in the gym, relationships, climate, conditions – everything is conducive to work, nothing distracts. I'm even grateful that I didn't start very well. But then I got to the right place — God forbid we continue to win. recognition. Has Roman Kopylov already become Bachatsky's main star?
— I don't know (laughs). We have a small village, I was known even before the UFC, when I was still engaged in hand-to-hand combat. Now, of course, they learn more, even in other cities. And at home everyone already knows.
– As a fan, you come across as a very modest fighter, but at the same time, you put on such shows for the delight of the fans. It turns out that trash talk is not so important in promotion?
— Let me be loved and appreciated for fights. I'm closer to showing good spectacular fights, rather than chatting.
About the situation in the division
– There is a dominant champion Israel Adesanya, who will soon begin to beat the contenders in the third round. We need fresh blood. How many victories do you think separate you from the “title winner”? If the series continues – God forbid, I will have a good fight – next year, maybe there will be changes in the rating. While there is no point in talking about it, it takes three wins to get into the title race. We don’t think, we do our job – one fight can change everything both for good and for bad.
The goal is to fight for the belt. If everything goes well, I'll try my hand with someone from the top 15 … It would be better from the top 10 to bring the title chance closer.
– Then let's imagine your fight for the belt. In what style would Adesanya be comfortable for you?
— He also works in a rack, which is convenient for me. Adesanya does not force things from the first minutes – I also like to start gradually, and not cut all at once.
— Same as Fremd. Tall, long limbs, but give or take a normal suitable opponent.
strong>- Already on Sunday, the title fight in Australia. Does Sean Strickland have at least some chance of an upset? If he doesn't play too hard and doesn't miss, then the champion will remain the champion.
strong>- And in your weight class, a superfight is coming in October. Khamzat Chimaev in Abu Dhabi will kill Paulo Costa.
– You always look forward to such fights. Guys – tops, one fights, the other fights and beats. Hardy… Costa has been through title fights and he has so much experience, let's see who will be ready. 60 to 40 in favor of Khamzat.
About Makhachev's revenge against Oliveira
— Once I mentioned Khamzat: Islam Makhachev is fighting him in the tournament. Title rematch with Charles Oliveira. Does the Brazilian have no chance again, or will the battle pattern be completely different?- Each revenge is difficult for the one who won the first meeting. Oliveira will work on the mistakes, will not rush and fly to Islam. As in the case of Peter Yan: I said that it would be difficult for him in a rematch with Aljamain Sterling (the Russian lost to the US representative by a split decision of the judges – ed.). And so it happened. Islam should not relax – I think this time it will be more difficult for him.
– Everything is already scheduled there, everything is occupied … Of course, I wanted to. Not far to fly, the climate is the same, the time zone with a slight difference. Comfortable.
About Emelianenko in boxing
—Our legend Fedor Emelianenko is going into boxing.<
– I reacted positively to this news, why not? If he wants, if there is strength and motivation, we all love to root for Fedor, how many fights he finished with knockouts, in the standing position. He won't have any problems.
– I was struck by the challenge thrown to Mike Tyson.
– This is more of a media event. Two legends will converge in the ring: press conferences, activity before the fight – there will be more excitement than the fight itself. yourself in the boxing ring?
— Very difficult. Head and body, no variety. Own technique: neither to grab a leg, nor to fight. Hard work, although it seems to many that it's just waving your hands.