Ray Cooper III

Braddah

USA

Two-time PFL millionaire
WelterweightPFL
October 27, 2021
Cooper defeated Magomed Magomedkerimov via TKO (punches) at 3:02 of Round 3 at the PFL Championships on Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale.
ANALYSIS
Cooper saw plenty of adversity early, getting taken down in Round 1 and falling significantly behind in the striking department due to Magomedkerimov's ground-and-pound. He was able to rebound in Round 2 and seriously threatened with an arm-triangle choke, but Magomedkerimov stayed calm and was able to survive. While momentum was shifting to Cooper heading into Round 3, Magomedkerimov unleashed a flurry of strikes early that had Cooper up against the cage. The referee was watching closely, but Cooper was able to create separation. With the two back in the center of the cage, Cooper unleashed with a combination and connected with a perfectly-placed overhand right. Magomedkerimov crashed to the canvas, and a few follow-up shots were all that were needed. With wins over Jason Ponet, Nikolay Aleksakhin, Rory MacDonald and now Magomedkerimov in 2021, Cooper will secure his second $1 million prize under the PFL banner (he was also the champion back in 2019). He also avenges a submission defeat at the hands of Magomedkerimov back in 2018. Cooper is a gritty fighter with a well-rounded skillset, and at age 28, "Bradda Boy" won't be going anywhere any time soon.
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PFL millionaire in 2019
WelterweightPFL
March 29, 2020
Cooper defeated David Michaud via TKO (punches) at 2:56 of Round 2 at the 2019 PFL Season Championships on Dec. 31, winning the welterweight tournament and taking home $1 million.
ANALYSIS
Cooper came up just shy of the top prize in 2018, finishing as the runner-up after losing the final to Magomed Magomedkerimov via second-round submission. It was a bit of a rocky regular season in 2019, with Cooper posting a 2-1-1 record, but he was ultimately able to prevail on New Year's Eve. Knees were Cooper's main weapon in this one, as he went to them early in the fight and they helped him score a first-round takedown. He finished the first in top position with several additional body shots. Several takedown attempts failed to begin the second, and when Cooper finally had him down, Michaud was able to get back up to his feet. Cooper went right back to the body with a devastating liver shot after that, and ultimately was able to finish via strikes after the midway point. Cooper is a strong young fighter at the age of 27, and while he may get looks from other promotions, it would be tough to pass up a shot at a $1 million top prize each year. The 2020 tournament will be a new challenge, however, as the bracket will feature recently-signed UFC and Bellator veteran Rory MacDonald.
Makes the welterweight tournament final with a pair of first-round knockouts at PFL 10
WelterweightPFL
October 20, 2018
Cooper defeated Handesson Ferreira via TKO (punches) at 2:28 of Round 1 at PFL 10 on Saturday in Washington, D.C.
ANALYSIS
Cooper avenged an earlier loss to Ferreira. Ferreira had defeated him via decision before either had signed with PFL. Cooper scored a takedown early in the fight, and it looked like he wanted to ride. Ferreira got to his wrestling base and appeared to be looking to stand. However, Cooper used the opportunity to unleash a series of very hard shots. Ferreira crumpled against the cage, and Cooper continued to throw. He moves on the tournament final, and has looked the part of a legitimate prospect since joining the promotion.
Cooper needs even less time to finish Jake Shields this time
WelterweightPFL
October 20, 2018
Cooper defeated Jake Shields via TKO (punches) at 3:10 of Round 1 at PFL 10 on Saturday in Washington, D.C.
ANALYSIS
It was very similar to his first fight against Shields. This time Cooper finished him even earlier. He used the same gameplan. He was patient and picked his spots, but when he did throw, he threw with power. Cooper landed a hard hook from the rear waist-lock position. Shields was clearly hurt, fell to the ground and covered up. Cooper continued to land hard shots on the ground. The referee probably could have stopped it earlier.
Upsets Jake Shields as a +925 underdog in the main event of PFL 3
WelterweightPFL
July 5, 2018
Cooper defeated Jake Shields via TKO (punches) at 2:09 of Round 2 at PFL 3 on Thursday in Washington, DC.
ANALYSIS
Cooper was able to win the rubber match against Shields in a series that started with his father. Shields and the older Cooper had a pair of matches in 2002 and 2004. The younger Cooper came into this main event as a huge underdog, but he had the tools and the gameplan to win this fight. He stuff all of Shields' takedowns, and landed hard shots on the breaks. After hurting the former Strikeforce champion multiple times, he landed a jump in hook that floored Shields in the second and followed up with punches. Even with this huge win, he has still lost two of his last five. Cooper will need to continue to win to show that he is a high level welterweight.