Ray Cooper III: “There’s Nothing Surprising about Magomedkerimov’s Game”

Sep 8, 2021

Ray Cooper III is well acquainted with his foe in the upcoming PFL welterweight final, and doesn’t expect to see many new wrinkles when they meet again next month.

“Bradda Boy” (23-7, 10-2-1 PFL) overcame all obstacles on his way to his third straight season final, as he submitted Jason Ponet before outpointing Nikolay Aleksakhin and former Bellator MMA 170-pound titleholder Rory MacDonald. Now, only one obstacle separates the 28-year-old Hawaiian from the $1 million prize, and it is a familiar name: Magomed Magomedkerimov. The pair already tangled in the 2018 final, when the Russian submitted the Lion of Judah standout in the second frame. This time, Cooper believes that he has found the key to the victory, as his opponent won’t bring anything different to the table than what he showed in their first clash.

“There’s nothing surprising about his game,” Cooper told Sherdog. “There is nothing I haven’t seen from him from before. I know how he is going to fight me, I know how he fights, period. He just wants to point fight until he can get a takedown and capitalize on people's mistakes when they leave their hands on him to grab him because he’s a submission guy. He wants to get into a grappling ex-change and try to finish the fight as quickly as he can because I don’t think he’s able to withstand the pressure I’m going to put on him. I think he’s going to fade in the fight when we fight.”

The PFL 2019 welterweight champion also spoke about his victory over MacDonald, the improvements he has made over time, and how he’s going to spend the money if he is victorious.

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

More video interview

<h2>Fight Finder</h2>