[CW: This article details an alleged domestic assault]
Former PFL heavyweight tournament finalist Josh Copeland reached a plea agreement with Colorado prosecutors in relation to an assault that occurred on his wife in February (per Steven Marocco, MMA Junkie). The 36-year-old former UFC fighter plead guilty to charges of felony second-degree assault with serious bodily injury and misdemeanor third degree assault. He received a sentence of two years probation.
According to Adams County district attorney public information officer Sue Lindsey, if Copeland serves his probation without incident he will avoid jail time and have the charges expunged from his criminal record. During his probation Copeland is required to undergo evaluation and treatment for domestic violence and substance abuse.
When news of this case broke the PFL stated — via MMA Fighting — that Copeland had been suspended indefinitely. Copeland has now been released from his PFL contract (per MMA Junkie).
Copeland was arrested in Thornton, CO, on February 6th in response to a report of domestic violence. According to an arrest affidavit acquired by MMA Junkie the arresting officer was told by Copeland’s wife that the professional fighter had punched her in the face. The officer noted an ‘obvious bruise’ on her left eye and a cut that was bleeding.
The officer recorded that the punch happened after Copeland and his wife argued over their child’s nutrition. Copeland’s wife claimed that, after the argument escalated, she went to a separate room along with their child. She claimed that Copeland followed them and continued the argument inside of that room.
She further claimed that the argument turned violent when Copeland pushed her. She stated that she pushed back and was then pushed to the ground. She said Copeland then blocked her from leaving the room and that her response to this was to slap him twice. It is alleged that Copeland punched her after this.
The affidavit states that the Copeland’s child was in ‘close proximity’ while the assault was happening.
Copeland was initially booked under three counts of domestic violence; assault in the second degree, obstruction of telephone or telegraph service, and child abuse.