Cooper Looks Towards Gold And $1 Million At PFL 11
On New Year’s Eve, the PFL will hold the 11th and final event of their rebranded league, as six champions will be crowned along with $1 million in prize money for each winning fighter.
For Ray Cooper III, his year started with him being the opponent of the welterweight bracket favorite, Jake Shields. Cooper was considered the long shot against the man who fought his father twice in Shields, yet Cooper would shock nearly everyone by dropping Shields in the second round of PFL 3 in Washington D.C.
From there Cooper would stay undefeated in the PFL with another TKO win at PFL 6, qualifying him for the playoffs and a rematch with Shields.
Cooper’s run to the title would not be stopped, as he would take out the former Strikeforce champion in the first round, again via a TKO.
Now, the Hawaiian fighter makes his way to the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, as he faces Magomed Magomedkerimov (22-5) in the headlining fight of PFL 11 with the welterweight title and $1 million on the line.
“My goal is always to fight at a high level,” Cooper told MMAJunkie. “I’m getting there, and I’m fighting these top guys. The money is just a bonus. My goal is to fight at the highest level and fight the best guys, the strongest guys. I feel that I’m on my way there. This is just one step closer to getting where I want to be at. I want to fight the best guys at all weight classes. 170 is my first stop. I’ve got a lot more coming.”
“You’re not going to fight the best guys staying stagnant in one weight class.”
On-top of the welterweight clash between Cooper and Magomedkerimov, five other PFL champions will be decided, as the heavyweight, light heavyweight, lightweight, middleweight, and featherweight titles will be decided, along with former Olympic Gold Medalist, Kayla Harrison attempts to remain undefeated as she faces Moriel Charneski.
The card airs on NBCSN on December 31st beginning at 7 PM ET.
Welterweight Championship: Ray Cooper III vs. Magomed Magomedkerimov
Heavyweight Championship: Philipe Lins vs. Josh Copeland
Light heavyweight championship: Vinny Magalhaes vs. Sean O’Connell
Kayla Harrison vs. Moriel Charneski
Lightweight Championship: Natan Schulte vs. Rashid Magomedov
Featherweight Championship: Steven Siler vs. Lance Palmer
Middleweight Championship: Abusupiyan Magomedov vs. Louis Taylor