Derek Brunson

Derek Brunson to make PFL debut against Ray Cooper III

The Professional Fighters League (PFL) today announced that two-time PFL Welterweight World Champion, Ray Cooper III, will return to the PFL SmartCage to face Derek Brunson, who has signed a multi-fight deal with the PFL. Cooper III and Brunson square off on November 24 at the 2023 PFL World Championship from The Anthem in Washington D.C. The main event will be live on ESPN+ Pay Per View preceded by prelims on ESPN+.

Derek “The One” Brunson, will face Ray Cooper III in a Middleweight showcase bout. Cooper III, a Hawaiian born fan favorite, is making his 2023 PFL debut, while Brunson enters with a 23-9 record in his first fight with the league.

“The 2023 PFL World Championship is set to be the grandest event in PFL history, and we are excited to welcome Derek Brunson to the PFL and host the return of two-time PFL World Champion, Ray Cooper III,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray. “MMA’s richest night will feature the biggest stars in MMA vying for six world championships and $6 million, while including the return of Kayla Harrison and Biaggio Ali Walsh.”

Tickets for the 2023 PFL World Championship, presented by CELSIUS® Essential Energy, are on sale now for the event featuring 12 finalists facing off for six world titles and six $1 million dollar championship purses.

2023 PFL World Championship Card


PFL Lightweight Championship

#2 Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. #1 Clay Collard


PFL Heavyweight Championship

#1 Denis Goltsov vs. #2 Renan Ferreira


PFL Women’s Featherweight Championship

#1 Larissa Pacheco vs. # Marina Mokhnatkina


Showcase – Women’s Featherweight

Kayla Harrison vs. Julia Budd


PFL Welterweight Championship

#3 Sadibou Sy vs. #1 Magomed Magomedkerimov


PFL Featherweight Championship

#2 Gabriel Braga vs. #4 Jesus Pinedo


PFL Light Heavyweight Championship

#1 Joshua Silveira vs. #3 Impa Kasanganay


ESPN+ Prelims


Showcase – Middleweight

Ray Cooper III vs. Derek Brunson

Lightweight Amateur

Biaggio Ali Walsh vs. Joel Lopez


Showcase – Featherweight

Bubba Jenkins vs. Chris Wade


Showcase – Bantamweight

Khai Wu vs. Phil Caracappa


Showcase – Featherweight

Jesse Stirn vs. Josh Blyden

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Staff Report