PFL 4: Josh Copeland Not Interested in UFC Return, Feels Terrible for Teammate Curtis Blaydes

Josh Copeland has no interest in heading back to a promotion that he feels doesn’t care about fighters. So win or lose, he’s happy with the PFL.

Uniondale, NY — Josh Copeland got the job done in the cage Thursday night in Uniondale. Faced with a tough test in fellow ex-UFC heavyweight Shawn Jordan, Copeland, or ‘Cuddly Bear’ (aren’t MMA nicknames the greatest) came back from being down in the first round to claim the next two rounds decisively. In the end, it was a unanimous decision win for Copeland, who picks up three points in the PFL’s regular season.

“I knew more than likely I needed a finish,” he admitted post-fight. “It is what it is, you know. I’m blessed to get the W. We’ll see where the cards fall.”

Copeland is looking at names like Tiller, Rosholt, and Nicholson ahead of him. While the evening was still unfolding, that resulted in a little bit of scoreboard watching. Tiller won, Rosholt fell to him via submission. Still, it’s never fun to see the result out of your hands.

Yet ultimately, Copeland was happy with how it turned out. Nor did the point-driven format change how he approached the fight.

“Just win. I think that’s the key,” he told Cageside Press backstage in Uniondale. “But definitely with two spots that are wide open and two others that, two other guys have three points too, I’ll say, I definitely needed a finish.”

Win or lose, however, he’s happy in the PFL. And somewhat critical of his former home. “Someone asked me ‘would you like to go back to the UFC?’ and it’s like ‘no.’ I would rather fight for a company who respects and is willing to offer real money for fighters,” Copeland explained, “versus people who could care less about you. You don’t want in, Joe Schmo is banging on the door. It sucks for all fighters to be under that pressure.”

Case in point: “Even one of my teammates, Curtis Blaydes, I feel horrible [for him]. He’s such a hard worker, he’s such a nice guy, he’s deserving of that title shot,” ‘Cuddly Bear’ said. “And guess what? All they want to do is make money. That’s a slap in the face to him. A guy who’s clean, a guy who works hard to get where he is.”

“Keep the WWE stuff where that is. Keep that show there. Let’s just put the best fighters against the best fighters. Let’s see that show,” he finished.

Watch the full post-fight interview with Josh Copeland from Thursday’s PFL 4 above!