Josh Copeland Pleads Guilty to Assault Charges Stemming From Domestic Dispute, Released by PFL

Josh Copeland PFL
Copeland v Jordan Credit: PFL

Josh Copeland has settled his domestic violence case, but the PFL has released the former UFC heavyweight as a result.

Former UFC, and now former PFL heavyweight Josh Copeland has pleaded guilty to assault charges following a domestic violence incident earlier this year. The fighter, who made it to the final of the PFL’s inaugural season before losing to Philipe Lines (and losing out on a million bucks in the process), had been arrested after his wife alleged he punched her following an argument. Copeland was subsequently charged with second-degree assault, obstruction (of telephone), domestic violence, and child abuse counts — the latter because the couple’s young son witnessed the incident.

Per an initial report by TMZ, Copeland cut a plea deal, appearing in court Tuesday. The deal, it turns out, will see him avoid jail time so long as he stays out of trouble during a two year probation period. After pleading guilty to second degree assault (a felony) and third degree assault (a misdemeanor), the additional counts were dropped. If Copeland successfully makes it to 2021 without further incident, the charges will be expunged from his record, per additional reporting by MMA Junkie.

Copeland (16-8) will be allowed to travel for work, which should keep his MMA career intact. However, it won’t be with the PFL. After suspending Copeland after the initial incident, the promotion has released him. PFL Director of Communication Greg Savage told MMA Junkie that Copeland had been “released from his contract and is no longer associated with the PFL.”

The writing was already on the wall, as the league’s heavyweight bracket was already set, and the season underway.