Ray Cooper III Lobbies for the Return of the PFL One-Night Tournament

Aug 5, 2021

“Bradda Boy” has done it twice, and he wants some more.

Ray Cooper III (22-7, 9-2-1 PFL) was expected to reach the later stages of the 2021 Professional Fighters League tournament and he didn’t fail to do so. The Hawaiian is on a mission to recapture the PFL welterweight championship after winning it in 2019. This season, he submitted Jason Ponet via first-round arm-triangle choke before moving on to upend Nikolay Aleksakhin by unanimous decision. Now, he is slated to face former Bellator MMA 170-pound kingpin Rory MacDonald in the semifinals on Aug. 13. Unlike past years, PFL dropped the one-night tournament format where a fighter had to earn his spot in the final by winning the quarterfinals and semifinals on the same night. The 28-year-old tested himself twice in that format, and he hopes to see it return next year.

“That's the whole thing about the PFL tournament, fighting two times in a night,” Cooper told Sherdog. “Those newbies coming in, they don’t understand the aspect of fighting twice in a night. I did it twice, two years in a row. Especially in my division, Rory is coming in and he doesn’t have to… he is going to fight the semifinal match and he’s not gone through the quarterfinal match fight, go back, get ready, fight again. He’s lucky in that aspect, but the fight is not going to change. Yeah, it sucks.”

Tudor Leonte started writing about mixed martial arts in 2013 for Italian media outlets. His journey with Sherdog began in 2018 and he now covers One Championship and countless European shows. You can follow him on Twitter @MrTudorLeonte.

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