The PFL welterweight champion continues to reign, as Ray Cooper III wrestled out of Canada’s Rory MacDonald in the promotion’s 170-pound semifinals and remains in pursuit of the million dollars.
Cooper III came into combat with a clear strategy against the ‘Red King’ who changed camp to Sanford MMA under the command of Henri Hooft, but had no response to the knockdowns of the American.
While the fight remained standing, MacDonald managed to connect, but spent most of the duel with his back against the canvas and only a submission from the guard could have saved him.
Now Ray will face an old acquaintance in the final, because in the other semi-final of the category, the Russian Magomed Magomedkerimov clearly beat Sadibou Sy, who also could not decipher his style in 15 minutes and fell in the qualifications.
Magomedkerimov already guillotined Cooper III in the 2018 season and now they will face each other for the 2021 title
At lightweight, Brazilian Raush Manfio took a controversial decision against American Clay Collard. Both fighters had beaten former UFC champion Anthony Pettis to reach the semifinals and now faced the possibility of fighting for the million dollars.
Collard showed those honed hands he developed in professional boxing, which alternates with MMA, so he clearly outnumbered Manfio during all three rounds, yet all three judges saw the South American win.
To open the main card, Paraguayan Alexander Martínez was eliminated against Loik Radzhabov. As it happened in the first fight, it was very close, but this time the fighter from Tajikistan showed better in the game standing up, especially in kicking and he kept the judges’ cards unanimously and now he has a chance to be the new champion against Manfio.
Next Thursday, August 19, PFL will define the finalists for the men’s heavyweight and women’s lightweight.