UFC 298 Preview: Anthony Hernandez – Roman Kopylov

MMA: UFC 273-Hernandez vs Fremd
Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

Kicking off the main card tomorrow night at UFC 298 is a battle in the middleweight division with a ranking on the line. Fifteenth ranked Anthony “Fluffy” Hernandez (11-2) will try to hold down his spot as he takes on the surging Roman Kopylov (12-2).

Starting with Kopylov, he entered the octagon for the first time with a perfect professional record of 8-0. However, things didn’t start well for him as he lost his first two fights and really struggled with the grappling. However, he’s made strides in that department and over his last four fights, he’s shown why he’s special with his striking. 4-0 with four knockouts and he’ll look to continue that momentum tomorrow night.

Anthony Hernandez also has a four-fight winning streak he’s on. After starting just 1-2 in the UFC, he’s turned things around in a big way like Kopylov winning four straight. He submitted Marc-Andre Barriault and then stopped Edmen Shahbazyan in his last two fights. A win for either man tomorrow night will be huge for them moving forward.

UFC 298 Prediction

Considering how striker versus grappler matchups typically go, I’m not shocked to see Hernandez as the decent betting favorite tomorrow night. However, one thing that concerns me about Hernandez is his ability to hold his opponents down. We know he’s got good takedowns, but his past opponents have shown the ability to get back to their feet.

If Kopylov can get back to his feet at UFC 298 and separate enough to have some striking exchanges, Hernandez could be in some trouble. While Hernandez isn’t bad on his feet, he’s not Roman Kopylov. Kopylov is incredibly dangerous and doesn’t need much time to really inflict some damage.

I think you’ll see Hernandez have some success in the grappling, but I think Kopylov keeps his finishing streak alive tomorrow. I see some big combinations landing and the underdog is going to pull this one off by TKO and enter the UFC’s middleweight rankings next week.

Prediction: Roman Kopylov by TKO – Round 2

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