Heavyweight Josh Copeland is no longer part of the PFL roster.
According to a report from TMZ, Copeland on Tuesday pleaded guilty in Colorado to felony second and third-degree assault in a domestic violence incident in which he allegedly struck his wife in the face during an argument. A previous TMZ report indicated police were called to the Copeland residence on February 2 when his wife told officers that her husband punched her in the face, leading to bruising and bleeding, which the officers noted. Copeland was arrested at the scene, and later posted bond.
In wake of this news, PFL quickly moved to release Josh Copeland from his contract, according to MMAjunkie.com.
The TMZ report said that Copeland’s wife admitted to slapping her husband in the face during an argument, but that he took the incident too far, allegedly stealing her phone so she could not call police. The domestic violence incident in question also allegedly took place in front of the couple’s young son, who witnessed the entire incident. Copeland was originally booked with four criminal charges, but took a plea deal this week for the second and third-degree assaults, with the other charged being dropped.
The judge sentenced Copeland to two years of probation for the incident. Copeland is allowed to travel for work, but will have to check in with the courts in 2021.
Josh Copeland (18-6-1) made it to the finals of the PFL season 1 heavyweight tournament, ultimately losing via TKO to Philipe Lins in the finals. Overall, he went 5-3-1 in PFL/WSOF. He formerly competed in the UFC back in 2014-2015, losing to Jared Rosholt and Ruslan Magomedov. With PFL releasing him, he will now be on the lookout for more work, though it’s doubtful any major MMA organization would be willing to sign him anytime soon. It seems more likely he will have to fight for a regional promotion now, and who knows what the future will hold for him considering this news.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 5/21/2019.