To the surprise of many, Ray Cooper III earned an easy victory over Rory MacDonald as the PFL playoffs started recently.
Cooper, a former champion, advanced to the welterweight finals with a decision win over MacDonald, a former UFC title contender and Bellator champion.
The event aired live on ESPN and ESPN Network streaming platforms.
Up next for Cooper will be a rematch of the Season 1 tournament with Magomed Magomedkerimov. That fight is set for October 27 with the belt and $1 million on the line.
Loik Radzhabov and Raush Manfio came out on top in their respective lightweight fights and have a PFL World Championship date. Radzhabov, the 2019 PFL Runner-Up, defeated first time playoff contender Alexander Martinez by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) and avenged his Regular Season loss to the Paraguayan at PFL 1 in April.
At the PFL World Championships in October, Radzhabov will attempt to become the first fighter from Tajikistan to win a title in a major MMA promotion. Manfio went the distance with Clay Collard and earned a close decision victory, pushing his win streak to three and the Brazilian remains undefeated in the PFL.
“PFL 7 kicked off the first of three action-packed playoff events being held at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida,” said Peter Murray, PFL CEO. “MMA fans witnessed the unmatched grit and determination of the PFL fighters looking to secure a PFL Championship opportunity. I look forward to continued intensity and world class action as the PFL Playoffs continue on August 19.”
“The excitement of a playoff atmosphere cannot be beat,” said Ray Sefo, President of Fighter Operations of PFL. “With everything at stake the PFL athletes delivered a great night of competition and now four fighters are closer to the PFL Championship and $1 million.”
The PFL returns to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Thursday, August 19 with the final four fighters across women’s lightweight and heavyweight divisions competing for a spot in the world championship.
PFL Playoffs 1 Results
Ray Cooper III def. Rory MacDonald by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Magomed Magomedkerimov def. Sadibou Sy by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Raush Manfio def. Clay Collard by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Loik Radzhabov def. Alexander Martinez by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Gleison Tibau def. Micah Terrill by 1st round submission (2:17)
Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Darrell Horcher by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-26, 29-27)
Brett Cooper def. Tyler Hill by 1st round KO (2:32)
Magomed Umalatov def. Leandro Silva by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Michael Lombardo def. Kyron Bowen by TKO (3:42)
Elvin Espinosa def. Hopeton Stewart by 1st round technical submission (2:45)