The Resurrection Fighting Alliance is quickly becoming the premier developmental promotion in the United States. By consistently finding and developing great young talent, the RFA has become a springboard to the UFC. Heavyweight Josh Copeland is very aware of the RFA’s status.

“The RFA is definitely one of the up-and-coming organizations,” Copeland told The MMA Corner. “I think they do a really good job of putting things together and they do a good job with the whole promotion end. I definitely consider myself blessed. I’m excited to be with someone who isn’t going to lock me down to a five-fight contract or something like that. Just in case the UFC does come calling after this, I’d be able to go right to them with no issues.”

On July 25, at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colo., Copeland is battling fellow undefeated prospect Jan Jorgensen for the inaugural RFA heavyweight title.

“It’s definitely a huge opportunity for me,” Copeland admitted. “That’s why I do it, for the competition. I’m excited. Jan is no slouch and an incredible athlete, definitely someone that I’m excited to challenge myself and be able to go in and see who the better guy is.”

Facing a fellow undefeated fighter, Copeland enters the bout with a little extra motivation. It’s not every day a fighter gets the chance to hand someone their first loss.

“I think being able to beat a guy that no one else has, you know, definitely has a whole new element to it than fighting a guy that’s a tough guy but has blemishes,” Copeland stated. “An opportunity like this, you don’t get them very often where two people are still undefeated. It will be fun.”

To prepare for this bout, Copeland has taken a less than traditional approach. Rather than dedicating himself to a single camp, Copeland has taken advantage of all the different training experiences the Denver area has to offer.

“I’m blessed,” Copeland said. “It’s nice to be able to just train where I need to train. I get a lot of classes in at Grudge, I go over to Easton’s and get in some good work with Eliot Marshall and a lot of the guys from Elevation Fight Team—Nate Marquardt, Brandon Thatch, Cody Donovan and all of those guys. I get a good mixture of getting in with those guys and learning from them. I get wrestling in over at MusclePharm and I go get in jiu-jitsu in a few times a week at 303 with Tony Basile. Man, I don’t know, I consider myself blessed, and it’s nice to be in the position that I am in and utilize all these guys instead of being stuck at one place.”

At this stage in his career and development as a fighter, Copeland wants to win. More importantly, though, he wants to continue to learn and grow.

“I’m definitely the type of person, I really don’t talk much,” Copeland said. “I just want to go out and do the best that I can. The objective is to win and just being able to continue to learn as a young fighter. Every fight is different, and every fight you take and get out something different.”

At the end of the day, being a successful fighter is only a small part of who Copeland really is. A humble and selfless man, Copeland wants to use the fight game to spread his message of love of community.

“I’ve always said I don’t care how many fights I win. Life is not about me,” Copeland said. “The day that life starts to become about me and I think that I am something, that’s the day that I need to lose. I don’t want to be known when I leave this earth as a good fighter. I want to be a person who can leave a legacy of being able to love on people and change people’s lives and be able to help those who really can’t help themselves. That’s who I am.

“I grew up in the church. I actually went to college to be a youth pastor and I wound up finding this and really enjoying this, just being a man. Just loving the aspect of competition. And we all want to be the best we can, whether it’s being a writer or whatever. For me, being able to use this to make a difference in people’s lives over a silly fight is fun.”

While spreading a message of love through fighting seems counterproductive, Copeland knows that to create change you need a platform. His platform just so happens to be fighting.

“I’m a firm believer that you use whatever avenue, whatever you are in, to just make a difference in life. Life is not about me, and if I can love on the less fortunate and be able to encourage kids to be better people and grow up and stay out of trouble and do all of that stuff, that’s what really matters, is making difference versus living a life where it is all about you.”

Josh would like to thank all of his teammates, coaches, his sponsors and his management team. Follow Copeland on Twitter: @joshcuddlybear

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.