PFL heavyweight Josh Copeland is OK having a little luck on his side
Josh Copeland slithered into the Professional Fighter’s League heavyweight final and a chance at a million dollar payday with a little luck on his side, and he’s not apologizing for it.
Josh Copeland (18-5-1) has competed for several fighting organizations throughout his career including stints with RFA, UFC, and World Series of Fighting before he joined the PFL.
Copeland, 36, who fights out of Denver, Colorado has admitted he’s never earned more than $30k in a year fighting, but he’s one win away from a million dollar payday and it’s conservative to say he didn’t take the easy road to get there.
The PFL introduced a new concept in mixed martial arts with a “season” and a “playoff” format, which a lot of the fighters and fans have taken a liking to.
Fighter’s are awarded points based on which round a victory is attained and also how, i.e., submission/finish or judge’s decision.
After the conclusion of a season, the fighters who accumulated the top eight point totals in each of the six different weight divisions are awarded a playoff spot and a chance to compete in a tournament for the million dollar purse.
“I think the format is something a lot of people are interested in. I can’t say I’ve heard anyone say they didn’t like the idea. The fighters like it because it can guarantee at least 3 fights a year,” said Copeland in a phone interview with Fighter’s Planet.
Copeland began his season with a TKO loss to Jack May, not the start anyone would hope for, but he overcame the setback to defeat Shawn Jordan in this second fight via a decision, which only awarded him 3 points in the standings.
Copeland’s slot in the playoffs seemed dim, but he backed into the playoffs as the number 8 seed.
“In my own mind, I was almost 90% sure I wasn’t going to get into the playoffs, but to win the lottery or a chance at a million dollars can’t come without a little luck,” said Copeland.
Copeland appeared on the verge of defeat in the semi-finals against Alex Nicholson after getting caught with a spinning backfist before he unleashed a brutal overhand right for the instantaneous knockout, a knockout of the year candidate, to advance to the finals.
“Even though I needed a little luck, I still felt I was the better fighter. I just let it play itself out and luck is what it is, but I’m ready to put on a show,” said Copeland.
PFL has received kudos from it’s roster for their financial compensation and treatment of it’s fighters and fans have been receptive to the playoff style format, but it hasn’t necessarily translated into respectable attendance figures thus far, but the slow start hasn’t slowed the enthusiasm of the fighters and sponsors have been willing to still get involved with the upstart fighting league, which was formally known as the World Series of Fighting.
The PFL was able to secure a distribution deal with NBC Sports Network and Facebook and also counts celebrities such as comedian Kevin Hart, television producer Mark Burnett, and self-help guru Tony Robbins among it’s investors.
“To me it’s a no-brainer. You have a company that’s willing to pay fighters real money. That actually takes care of it’s fighters, that actually cares about their fighters. I’m 100% sold on the PFL, the way they treat fighters and the way they treat me.”
Professional Fighters League Championship Finals will be held on New Year’s Eve, Dec 31 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City and will be broadcast live on NBCSN 7-11PM ET.