Josh Copeland taking it one fight at a time heading into BKFC 31

The Underground

Following nearly three years away from combat sports, former PFL heavyweight Josh Copeland is ready to return to fighting in a new arena.

For his return to fighting, Copeland will step into the BKFC and take his skills into the bare knuckle arena.

“The bare knuckle thing was something I always wanted to try before my career is over,” Copeland told “It might be a one and done thing, it might turn into something more than that. It’s definitely something that I at least want to experience once to say that I did it.”

When it comes to transitioning his training from MMA to stand-up only, Copeland feels like the shift in focus has been advantageous for his health.

“I’ll say my body has been feeling really good,” said Copeland. “Instead of having to train three or four times a day to get in striking, grappling, strength and conditioning, and all that, it’s been nice just being able to focus on my hands and get it done without extra wear and tear on my body.”

For his bare knuckle debut, Copeland (0-0 bare knuckle) takes on Levi Costa (1-0 bare knuckle) in a main card heavyweight bout at BKFC 31 in Denver, Colorado, on October 15.

“I know he’s a southpaw fighter; he’s somewhat comfortable in the storm, staying (in the pocket) and throwing,” Copeland said of Costa. “He throws a good straight cross, so I definitely have to be aware of that.

“But for me I don’t plan on changing my style too much. I definitely rely on my footwork, angles, and timing. Even in MMA if I go out there and stand toe-to-toe with anyone they have a chance. I feel as though I’m better at being able to control the range, doing what I want to do, and don’t when I don’t, so hopefully with my style I can do well in this sport.”

As for his future, Copeland isn’t 100% sure on what he’ll do next, but for now he’s excited to try out something new, and when it’s over reassess from there.

“It’s definitely one fight at a time, but I can tell you that I’m not going out there to lose,” said Copeland. “I’m going to be in shape and ready to go. Worst case scenario this is my last fight, I want to go out on top and put on a show for all my friends, family, and fans. I just want to be entertaining for sure.”

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