Anaheim, CA — Riding a four-fight win streak, Russian middleweight Roman Kopylov will kick off the UFC 298 main card this Saturday, paired up with Alexander Hernandez.

It’s a bit of a boost in profile for Kopylov (12-2), a former Fight Nights Global champ who arrived in the UFC in 2019 undefeated, but stumbled out of the gate, losing his first two fights.

The Russian then embarked on his current four-fight run, however, and is appreciative of where that has left him.

“I’m very happy to be included on the main card this time around, on such a big Pay-Per-View, and I’m expecting to continue my win streak,” Kopylov told media outlets including Cageside Press during Wednesday’s UFC 298 media day in Anaheim.

Many see the match-up with Hernandez as striker versus wrestler, something Roman Kopylov also acknowledged.

“People like this, the clash of styles, the striker versus the wrestler,” said Kopylov, speaking via translator. But, he added, “I work on wrestling at least five times a week, so I’m pretty sure that I’ll be able to find a key to defend myself against his wrestling.”

Kopylov is competing in a middleweight division in flux, where the belt has changed hands repeatedly in the past 18 months, from Israel Adesanya to Alex Pereira, back to Adesanya, to Sean Strickland, and now to Dricus Du Plessis. As a result, Roman Kopylov knows how rough the waters of 185lbs are.

“Middleweight is one of the toughest divisions, this is a great division. Everybody’s pretty tough in here. Top five, I think when it comes to the champion, anybody in the top five can become a champ soon.”

Perhaps also stemming from that, Kopylov doesn’t expect the current champ to hold gold for long.

“I’m not sure what to say about the champion [Du Plessis],” said Kopylov. “For some reason, I have a feeling he’s not going to stay the champ for a way long time.”

With names like Adesanya and Khamzat Chimaev in play, that belt could change hands again soon. But rather than either of those two, Roman Kopylov feels there are other deserving names for a title shot.

“Even if you look at the guys fighting now, [Robert] Whittaker’s fighting now, I think there’s other guys that are very much deserving of this opportunity for the belt now.”

Watch the full UFC 298 media day appearance by Roman Kopylov above.

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