Hawaiian Ray Cooper III is currently on a high, having conquered the biggest name of his career in Jake Shields, the same person who defeated his father in 2002. With a beef to settle, Cooper III unleashed punishment on Shields when they met at Professional Fighters League 3.
And while he battered a Cesar Gracie jiu-jitsu black belt that is already past his prime, the fact remains that Shields is a former Strikeforce middleweight champion who has wins over Dan Henderson, Robbie Lawler, Carlos Condit, Demian Maia and current UFC welterweight king, Tyron Woodley. “Bradda Boy” ran through him like a man on a mission and forced a TKO stoppage in the second round.
Cooper III is a quick starter who has finished all but three of his opponents, and he will look to bring his heavy hands when he meets Ukrainian submission specialist Pavel Kusch at Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Before they lock horns, here is a by-the-numbers look on the rising Professional Fighters League star.
14: Years has passed since his father, Ray Cooper, Jr. was stopped by Shields via rear-naked choke at Warriors’ Quest 6: Best of the Best. It was actually a rematch as the older Cooper decisioned his rival in 2002 at Shooto Hawaii: Soljah Fight Night.
6: Inches of height disadvantage to Shields. This drawback did not matter on fight day.
1: Massive left hook and a few follow-up punches to end the fight. By this time, Shield’s face was already a bloody mess.
1: Victory in his amateur career. Before turning pro in July 2012, Cooper III scored a win over Devin Taylor at Destiny MMA “Unleashed.”
8: Seconds was all he needed to knock out Kani Correa. His impressive professional debut happened at a King of the Cage event.
11: Wins by stoppage in the first round. Whether by knockout or submission, finishing fights early is something that comes natural to the native of Hawaii. His list of opening period victims include Kani Correa, Adam Smith, Nate Harris, Jody Carter, David Douglas, Adrian Bartee, Josh Drake, Gabe Rivas, Zach Conn, Matthew Colquhoun and Jonathan Pico.
9: Wins by KO or TKO. Cooper III is known to have strong power in his hands. Apart from Shields, he also knocked out Charles Bennett in round 2 and the rest in round 1.
5: Wins by submission. He has scored three stoppages by rear-naked choke, and one each by front choke and guillotine choke.
4: Losses in his professional career. Cooper III suffered his first defeat early in his career to Joey Gomez. His three other tormentors include Danny Navarro, Jun Yong Park and Hendesson Ferreira.
25: Years of age and with a bright future ahead of him in PFL. Cooper III was born on Feb. 7, 1993 in Hawaii.