Sports Update 

Roman Kopilov kicks a physical kick for TKO Punahele Soriano.

LAS VEGAS, NV – JANUARY 14: (L-R) Roman Kopylov of Russia punches Punahele Soriano in a middleweight bout during UFC Fight Night at UFC APEX on January 14, 2023 in Las Vegas. Nevada (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Hawaiian fighter Punahele Soriano sets a 3-2 UFC record with all three victories coming by knockout. Enters UFC Vegas 67 against Russian prospect Roman Kopylov. Kopylov entered the UFC with an undefeated 8-0 record, then lost his first two bouts before winning by knockout in his most recent bout.

This matchup featured all stand-up fights. And also saw Kopylov fighting his contract.

Soriano opened with a throw to the left as both fighters were south-dominant. He then fired a takedown shot, but Kopylov stuffed it in. Puna was more aggressive early on. He is connected to certain mixes. Kopylov started to open up behind his stiff jab, but Puna would counter with a big left hand supporting the Russian. Soriano’s Red Soriano appears to be looking for a mere knockout as he bolts ahead in a grenade-throwing blitz. He fired another takedown with one minute remaining in the round. Kopylov then fired back and knocked Puna to the ground, but Soriano was quickly able to get to his feet before the round was over.

The second round began with the pair trading fast as Kopylov kicked the trunk and Puna landed overhand. Kopylov began trying to use the body while Punahele attempted an uppercut under cover. Ninety seconds into the round, Roman Kopylov sent a menacing spin back into his opponent’s stomach, but Soriano stayed strong and kept going. He almost fell when Kopylov swarmed him at one point. But his strength was exaggerated and he continued until Kopylov kicked the body again which caused Soriano to leap up.

This was probably Kopylov’s best performance in the UFC, beating tough opponents with his decisive attack and good defense. He was officially in the boat after a disappointing start to promotion.

Official Result: Roman Kopilov defeats Punahele Soriano via TKO (Kick and Punch) Round 2, 3:19

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