It sounds like a horror movie doesn’t it?
Make no mistake, Ray Cooper III came into the Professional Fighters League (PFL) with getting at Jake Shields to avenge his father but he was able to right a wrong on his own record at PFL 10.
Points were no longer on the line but any fighter that earned a finish early was able to fight fresh when they fought for a second time on Saturday night. It has been the theme throughout the 2018 season for the PFL; fight, finish, win, advance and Cooper seems to have heard the message loud and clear. The promotion’s re-imagining of MMA has shown how fighter’s mindsets change when there are no stars and no politics involved in earning big money.
When Cooper beat Shields for the second time in the quarterfinal bout he said in the post-fight interview he was ready to go right then and there. What fans may not have known was Handesson Ferreira holds a win over Cooper from November of last year in another promotion, so with the story of he and Shields over he was ready for Ferreira at PFL 10.
At 2:28 of the first round in their welterweight semifinal bout Cooper avenged that loss and secured his spot for New Year’s Eve in New York City when the PFL returns to where they started the season and a format of MMA that has earned enough interest and investors to surely have fight fans looking at 2019 season.
“Just another round. I’m just happy I got to rewrite that wrong and make my way to the final fight too.” -Ray Cooper III
Cooper was an under-dog when he fought Shields the first time during the 2018 season and has since become a heavy favorite for the welterweight division and earned a wrecking-ball reputation in MMA. Even though he avenged the loss for his father he said he considered Shields the toughest competitor in his division so the second fight and win only underlined his drive to win the prize money for his division. He faces Magomed Magomedkerimov at The Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden New Year’s Eve.