Roman Kopylov explains how patience paid off at UFC Fight Night 217

LAS VEGAS – Roman Kopylov kicked off 2023 the way he wanted, with a foot to the midsection of Puna Soriano.

At UFC Fight Night 217, Kopylov (10-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) elevated his winning streak to two with a second-round TKO with a body kick and punches that crumpled Soriano (9-2 MMA, 3-3 UFC).

Prior to the end sequence, there were moments Kopylov was tempted to go for the kill, but elected not to rush himself at the consultation of his coaches. The patience paid off.

“Those were the moments when I realized I still didn’t have the little bit enough to finish him, so I’d go back a little bit and that actually gave him a little time to recover but it also gave me a little time to recover,” Kopylov told MMA Junkie and other reporters Saturday at the UFC Apex. “So I was able to regain my composure and then keep pressing forward.”

For the first time in his short UFC tenure, Kopylov has won back-to-back fights. In September, Kopylov defeated Alessio Di Chirico with punches for a Round 3 stoppage. Kopylov started 2023 in a similar fashion to how he ended 2022.

“I’m very happy that the year started this way,” Kopylov said. “Thank God we’re healthy. I have a couple of bruises, maybe a couple of sore spots. Other than that, I’m pretty happy. I’d really like to hav another three or four fights by the end of the year.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 217.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie