Ray Cooper III focuses on final rematch against Magomedkerimov – .

Ray Cooper III focuses on final rematch against Magomedkerimov – .

HOLLYWOOD, Fla .– The MMA community may have been surprised at the outcome of Friday’s PFL 1 Playoffs main event, but Ray Cooper III was not.
Cooper (23-7-1 MMA, 10-2-1 PFL) took on Rory MacDonald in what promised to be a tough fight for the two welterweight contenders who hoped to land their ticket to the PFL final to face Magomed Magomedkerimov .

However, by the end of the fight, there was no doubt that Cooper did enough to win the fight, in fact the only question was whether a judge gave MacDonald a single turn.

“(It was) nothing I expected, I knew it was going to happen,” Cooper told MMA Junkie. “Nothing but respect for Rory. He’s a great competitor, a great fighter.

Perhaps the key to success on Friday night was Cooper’s approach to combat, as he hasn’t allowed the stage, timing, or opponent to reach him all week. He just approached the fight with the same mentality he always does in a tournament format.

“He’s just another guy,” Cooper said. “He’s on my way to my main goal. It’s a tournament style. It’s not, ‘Oh, you’re fighting a big guy this fight, it’s your biggest fight.’ No, you have to focus on the fights after that too, but you still have to be focused on the fight in front of you and that’s what I did. I focused on him, I passed him, and now I’m focused on the main goal, and that is to win the championship.

The three judges scored the contest 30-27 in favor of Cooper against MacDonald, which saw him wipe out and advance to the final to face Magomedkerimov, who beat Sadibou Sy by unanimous decision on Friday.

Cooper will have a chance to get revenge on Magomedkerimov, who beat him in the 2018 tournament championship via a guillotine choke in the second round.

“I’m getting my revenge,” Cooper said. “It’s a whole different fight now, the way I’m going to approach it, the way Magomed is going to approach it – we both know how we fight, but that last fight that we fought, I was a little immature during the fight, but now I already know what he’s going to do. It’s no secret what he does. He will struggle. Period. I’m ready. “

The 2021 PFL Playoff Finals take place on October 27 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.


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