Though he split his two regular season bouts this year in the Professional Fighters League, heavyweight Josh Copeland is overall pleased with how things turned out and how he was feeling heading into each fight.
Copeland can see what he did both in his loss and in his victory and take from them the things he needs to be able to be successful heading into the PFL heavyweight playoffs.
“Both fights I went into them healthy,” Copeland told MMAWeekly.com. “The fight with (June) Jack May he caught me perfect; he caught me right in the liver.
“I did feel good going into that; the same thing with Shawn Jordan (in July). I followed Shawn and his time in the UFC, and it was an honor to fight him and to come away with a W.”
After having two fights in two months and a potential two fights in one night in the playoffs, Copeland isn’t feeling overwhelmed by the level of output he might have to have. If anything, the activity level is good in Copeland’s eyes.
“The cool thing about the regular season was that whether you win or lose, knowing you had to fight again in six weeks, you didn’t have time to celebrate or to get depressed,” said Copeland.
“With the playoffs coming up, being able to go in and hopefully make it to the finale, I’ll basically have three months until I have to fight again. That’s enough time to heal up from any bumps and bruises I get that night and get back to it in December.”
On Friday in New Orleans, Copeland (17-5) enters the PFL heavyweight playoffs first with a quarterfinal bout with top seeded Francimar Barroso (21-7).
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“He’s got a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu, and has decent wrestling, and good striking; so he’s very well-rounded,” Copeland said of Barroso. “We’re about the same height and same reach, and I like the aspect that we can both touch each other.
“Based off my fighting style and I am more a natural heavyweight, while he’s more of a natural light-heavyweight, so hopefully I can use my size against him and use positions.”
Though he’s trying to remain focused on Barroso, Copeland has an idea of whom he could be facing in the semi-finals before making his way to the championship fight on New Year’s Eve.
“I see Jack (May) beating Alex (Nicholson),” said Copeland. “The only thing Alex kind of has going for him is that he’s wild and can be unpredictable. With Jack’s height and reach I see him picking apart Alex. I don’t see Alex going past the first round.
“Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a cocky person. I believe in what I can do, but I’m also realistic, so it could be my night or not. But it very well could go in my favor, and (winning the million dollars) is the game plan.”