“I understood that about to be fired.” Manager Kopylov analyzes the fighter’s first victory in the first UFC tournament in France

“I understood that about to be fired.”  Manager Kopylov analyzes the fighter’s first victory in the first UFC tournament in France

On Saturday, the first UFC tournament took place in France and the Russian fought on the main card Roman Kopylov. For the fighter, this fight was the third in the first world league, Kopylov lost the previous ones: in November 2019 against Karl Roberson and in October 2021 against Albert Duraev.

It was no secret that Kopylov’s fate in the promotion largely hinged on Saturday’s fight in Paris against Italian Alessio di Chirico. And the Russian fighter did not disappoint – Roman won by technical knockout in the third round.

Almost immediately, “” contacted the manager of the winner Alexandre Skaredine and analyzed Kopylov’s performance, discussing the ex-AMC Fight Nights champion’s future prospects. Also, in communication with Skaredin, the results of the first UFC tournament in France were summarized, and the nuances of signing Irina Alekseeva to the best promotion in the world were revealed.


“This is a pivotal win for Roman and our entire Rat team,” a conversation with Skaredin began with . For Roman, this was a critical moment in his entire career. Now even in Paris it’s September 4th, and it’s my birthday. I can’t think of a better gift.

First of all, congratulations on your double vacation! Second, please analyze Kopylov’s speech. It just seemed from the outside that everything was not so good, except the result.

– Thank you for your congratulations. The first round went completely according to our plan, and in the second, Roma started stagnating and falling back, which caused their game to drop. And we realized that the third round was decisive for us. In the final segment, Roma managed to do what we needed.

Now let’s talk about the inhabitants. We all know Roman as an extremely talented striker, puncher, sensitive and unconventional fighter, who shone not only in hand-to-hand combat, but also in Russian MMA promotions.

If we look at Roman’s last two fights in the UFC, we saw much the same thing as in the second round of the fight with Di Chirico: Roman started to stagnate, to be afraid of something, somewhere he tried to take breaks to act for sure. But that stopped him from doing his job, stopped him from being Roman Kopylov.

And it’s important to me that now, in the third round, he feels his story. I started shooting, working in series, combining legs with arms, which immediately led to victory. If we look at the previous two fights, then in the segments where he became himself, everything worked out for Roma. Now it’s very important for him to live this moment psychologically, to understand that he is Roman Kopylov and that the UFC cage remains a cage, even if it is the biggest promotion. And an ordinary living person stands against you. We are satisfied. I think this is an important win for us.

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– From your words, we can conclude that Kopylov’s main problem is in his head.

– I agree. But I hope these problems are a thing of the past. And so – yes. Something in your head has stopped you from doing what you are good at. I hope Roma have found their thread and everything will go as it should.

– Okay, in an unsuccessful scenario, the fight could be the last for Kopylov in the UFC? The fighter was about to be fired.

– Absolutely right. We understood our position. Our task was the most brilliant victory possible. And we have completed this task. He wrote to us immediately after the battle [матчмейкер] Mick Maynard, that he is very satisfied with the performance of Roman, that, despite the past unpleasant moments, he continued to believe in him and that he expects beautiful and spectacular fights from him.

– The fight is over, and now I want to look ahead, so I’m going to ask a basic question: what is the next step in Roman Kopylov’s career?

– Roma came out of this fight uninjured. He almost hit his leg on the elbow in the third round. I think she will heal fairly quickly.

In principle, Roman is ready to return to the cage at the UFC tournament in Abu Dhabi in October. Yes, the card is full. But there are some middleweight guys from Russia and CIS countries, whom we can insure in case of emergency. Roma can be a substitute. It will be a good story to continue the contract and the interaction with the UFC.

If that doesn’t work out, the plan is to get into the cage before the end of 2022. The Roma work visa is valid until the end of the year. Our plan – pah-pah – we brilliantly finalize the contract, re-sign with the organization, get the third work visa and move on.

– You have one fight left under the contract with the UFC. From what I understand, you did not mention extending the contract.

A little over an hour has passed since the battle. I think we will start finalizing the contract and a decision will be made based on the results of the last two fights. We believe in the best, we feel supported. My phone is on fire. I imagine Roma has.


– You played in the first UFC tournament in France. Based on your experience of shows in other countries, evaluate the organization of the tournament in Paris.

– For me, this is the second UFC event, which was the first for a particular country. I will not be surprised – I was at the first show of the organization in Russia. What I love is that wherever the UFC hosts an event, everything is the same at the highest possible level. It’s just a gun.

We have a lot of experience watching the work from the inside, it’s just amazing – the guys are doing an amazing job. You can see that every single person on the site is getting high on their work. And they make it clear to the fighters – whether it’s the main fight or the preliminary fight – that they are the main participants in the process. It’s an indescribable feeling.

Paris is very cool. A lot of Italians came here, who booed us on the way out. Igor Glazkov and Max Ponomarev were in the stands with our team, and they said that in a moment of joy at the result, the French cheered them on and said: “Forward, Russia.” The atmosphere is great! The arena was packed, we are happy to be part of this story.

– In general, the tournament was a success.

Paris is great!

– Well, can I conclude that you didn’t feel any negativity towards yourself?

– Absolutely none. Everything is correct and respectful. Yes, when entering the battle, quite a few Italians booed us, but this certainly cannot be called negative. We understand that they supported their fighter. He crossed no borders. On the contrary, I like these things. It’s so joyful to break someone’s high.

I would like to pay tribute to the UFC. When most of our sport is banned, barred, not a single fighter has been fired, the guys are not idle. To me, that’s the epitome of sportsmanship. We are happy to have the opportunity to defend the honor of our country in international competitions and achieve victories.


– With such a patriotic answer, I would like to ask about the signing of another fighter from your Rat team – Irina Alekseeva to the UFC. As of 2022, he’s only the second fighter to be signed to the top league in the world.

– It’s true. If we analyze the UFC list, then there is a fairly large representation of guys from Russia and the CIS. The reason why now they don’t sign systematically and in a pipeline, as it was the case two or three years ago, is that the share of UFC fighters coming from Russia is much higher than the share of the organization’s revenue from that territory. There is simply no commercial component here.

But there are different times. For example, with replacements, as Denis Tyulyulin arrived (the first Russian fighter signed in 2022). And sometimes the organization has a situation where they don’t have enough fighters in a certain weight. There are very few girls in women weighing up to 61 kg. And the UFC had a situation where they needed a girl in that weight class. We worked the fastest.

— Can you tell us the details of the negotiations?

— Just consider the interaction with any organization. You are in contact with matchmakers – when you talk about some fighters, you can mention others. And during such conversations, certain nuances and needs are revealed. And you say, “We have an interesting option.” And it works at times. And now the stars were aligning, and we were first.

– Let’s talk specifically about the situation with Alekseeva.

– We speak with the UFC, there was a conversation that women of this weight have a shortage. And we reminded them of Alekseeva, and then we showed her. Yes, she was in Bellator. But we immediately said we would fix it overnight, which we did, and we were immediately sent a contract. Maybe I’m now on the emotions of Kopylov’s victory …

– Yes, you have just succeeded.

– I don’t want to hit myself with my left heel in my right chest with the words that we can do anything. But in fact, everything works is not so difficult. It is difficult for all the factors to converge. And here somewhere there is luck, and somewhere – an acquired name. Trust Credit.

And when the stars converge, it’s not that hard. This is how most signatures happen in an organization. Over the past few years guys who have been signed to the UFC have followed more or less the same pattern. And it’s not just about Russia.

– When will Alekseeva make her UFC debut? And how did you manage to settle the situation with Bellator?

– In December. We now await confirmation and a rival. We are preparing for December, Irina is starting to train, there are no problems with a visa. We have completed all the necessary medical documents and in the next few days she will be included in the test group.

As for Bellator… Irina had a good contract, no need to complain. We had a visa and we talked about the next fight. But when we came to them with the opportunity [выступления в UFC] and asked how you view the fact that we are parting amicably and we will be very grateful to you. They replied, “No problem, we wish you luck.” They immediately assessed the situation.

And now we are seriously working to bring another fighter from our team, Zhenya Ignatiev, into the best league in the world – in the UFC. He has got everything. We just need a few factors to converge.

Source : MatchTV

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