PFL's Josh Copeland still shocked to be in finals of $1 million tourney

PFL heavyweight Josh Copeland still can’t quite believe he’s in line to win $1 million in the PFL post-season tournament.

“I’m still in shock,” Copeland (18-5-1) told MMAjunkie Radio. “I can’t believe things unfolded the way they did.”

Copeland needed fellow heavyweights Mike Kyle and Caio Alencar to fight to a decision at PFL 7 so he could earn a spot in the playoffs.

Then, Copeland also caught another break when he advanced unscathed from a draw at PFL 8 with Francimar Barroso. And when semifinalist Alex Nicholson cut him and tried to finish early in his next bout, it was another best-case scenario.

“I thought Alex was the weak link in the chain,” said Copeland. “He’s dangerous because he comes to fight and he throws some random stuff, but I don’t think he sets stuff up good.

“I think he comes in with his chin straight up, and I love when guys come forward, and I definitely love when chins are up in the air.”

Copeland caught Nicholson flush with a punch, and the fight was instantly over.

After stumbling out of the gate in a season-opener, the biggest payday of Copeland’s career is on the horizon. He’s set to face Philipe Lins (13-3) in the tourney finals at PFL 11, which takes place Dec. 31 in New York City.

Understandably, Copeland is grateful to the PFL for structuring its season so guys like him get a second chance. After his loss to May, he jumped right back in to the PFL cage and got a chance to rebound.

“I didn’t have time to have a pity party,” he said. “I didn’t have time to get depressed. I knew I was fighting six weeks from that day. Time to go home and get back to work.

“Every single one of us are good enough. We just need that opportunity and have a little luck on our side. Thankfully, I got the cut in the second fight and not the first fight.”

Copeland’s hand is still not fully healed from the damage it took at PFL 8, but he expects to be ready for the finals.

Once cast out of the UFC on a pair of losses, Copeland may be hitting his stride at the perfect time, with the perfect circumstances.

“I’m blown away with the opportunity PFL has given to fighters,” he said.

For more on PFL 11, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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