The playoffs for the Professional Fighters League (PFL) begin next week at PFL 7. In the main event, favorite Rory MacDonald meets former champion Ray Cooper III.

The event airs live on ESPN2 with the other welterweight semifinal and the semifinals in the lightweight division also planned.

However, MacDonald vs. Cooper will be the fight that draws in the eyes and collects the headlines.

We all know about MacDonald. From his epic battle with Robbie Lawler, to becoming Bellator champion, to signing with the PFL as one of the biggest stars in the promotion.

But what about his opponent? 

What about Ray Cooper III?

A 28-year-old Hawaii native, Cooper has fighting in his blood. He started wrestling early in life under his watchful eye of his father, Ray Cooper Jr., who was a pro wrestler.

From there, Cooper turned to MMA and has excelled, posting a record of 22-7-1 with 14 knockout wins and seven submission victories.

In 2019, he became the PFL welterweight tournament winner when he finished David Michaud in the second round. He has won four in a row and is unbeaten in his last five. 

You might remember Cooper from his 2018 fights with another superstar, Jake Shields. He finished Shields both times, stopping him in the second in the first meeting and in just over three minutes in the rematch. 

So while MacDonald will enter as the heavy betting favorite, Cooper is an underdog that has the track record to get the job done.

In the other welterweight semifinal, Joao Zeferino meets Magomed Magomedkerimov. The lightweight final four features Clay Collard taking on Raush Manfio and Loik Radzhabov going up against Alexander Martinez. 

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