Cooper Wants To Avenge Penn’s Loss To Rory

Ray Cooper III ended 2019 with not only the PFL’s welterweight title, but also with $1 million in his bank account.

Cooper wants to start his 2020 facing off with the newest member of the PFL roster, Rory MacDonald.

“I would love to fight him first right off the bat,” Cooper told MMA Fighting of a fight with the former Bellator champion. “Just get it out of the way already. If we’ve got to wait until later, we’ll wait until later, but I want to challenge him first.

“We’ll see what Ray Sefo does. He’s still hammering out the division. There’s still Magomed [Magomedkerimov], there’s still John Howard, there’s still David Michaud, there’s still a lot of guys coming back. It’s going to be a good year next year.”

“He’s an amazing fighter,” Cooper said of MacDonald, who spent time with the UFC before jumping to Bellator in 2017. “I used to watch him when I was growing up, too, watching him fight all the top-notch guys. It’s going to be an honor to fight against him. I would love to fight him early in the season or whatever. I want to show him what’s up.”

“That’s going to be a big step for my career and my legacy to fight Rory. He trains with Georges St-Pierre, one of the best, if not the best welterweights, so a win over him is going to help my career big time.”

“I need to get him back for one of our boys,” Cooper said of MacDonald’s 2012 unanimous decision win over B.J. Penn. “He beat B.J. Penn back in the day, and that was kind of unsettling. So I’ve got rewrite that.

“I just have a lot of respect for B.J. He paved the way for Hawaii, fighting in the UFC, and he was just the first one to make it out of here and make it to the big time. I really looked up to him as an inspiration that we can make it.”

“I think I match up great against him,” Cooper said. “He likes pressure, and I bring the pressure in all of my fights. I think can outwrestle him, too. He’s a little bit taller than me, but everybody is taller than me. I think it’s a good matchup.”

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