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PFL Season 2021 Playoffs: Ray Cooper III shuts out Rory MacDonald to advance to welterweight finals

Defending PFL welterweight champion Ray Cooper III is one win away from defending his title.

Cooper III took a comfortable unanimous decision win over former Bellator champion Rory MacDonald Friday night at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood in Hollywood, Florida.

MacDonald tried to close the distance but Cooper III took the fight to the ground and almost submitted MacDonald with an arm-triangle in the first round.

https://twitter.com/PFLMMA/status/1426385470225854469?s=20

It was pretty much the same story in the second and third rounds. MacDonald just could not keep the fight standing long enough to combat Cooper III’s ground offensive.

https://twitter.com/PFLMMA/status/1426386832179306501?s=20

With the win, Cooper III will face Magomed Magomedkerimov in the final to defend his title and win a $1 million USD prize.

Magmedkerimov defeated Sadibou Sy by unanimous decision in the co-main event to advance.

In the lightweight bracket, Raush Manfio will meet Loik Radzhabov in the finals after both won their semi-final bouts on the main card.

In other results:

RAY COOPER III DEF. RORY MACDONALD VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

MAGOMED MAGOMEDKERIMOV DEF. SADIBOU SY VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

RAUSH MANFIO DEF. CLAY COLLARD VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

LOIK RADZHABOV DEF. ALEXANDER MARTINEZ VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

GLEISON TIBAU DEF. MICAH TERRILL VIA SUBMISSION (ARM-TRIANGLE) R1 2:18

OLIVIER AUBIN-MERCIER DEF. DARRELL HORCHER VIA UD (29-28, 30-26, 29-27)

BRETT COOPER DEF. TYLER HILL VIA KO (PUNCHES) R1 2:32

MAGOMED UMALATOV DEF. LEANDRO SILVAVIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

MICHAEL LOMBARDO DEF. KYRON BOWEN VIA TKO (LEG KICKS) R1 3:42

ELVIN ESPINOZA DEF. HOPETON STEWARTVIA SUBMISSION (RNC) R1 2:45

The next PFL playoff event features the women’s lightweight and men’s heavyweight semi-finals and is slated for Aug. 19. The current lineup is:

KAYLA HARRISON (10-0-0) VS. GENAH FABIAN (4-1-0)

BRUNO CAPPELOZZA (12-5-0) VS. JAMELLE JONES (11-6-0)

LARISSA PACHECCO (15-4-0) VS. TAYLOR GUARDADO (2-1-0)

DENIS GOLTSOV (27-6-0) VS. ANTE DELIJA (18-4-0)

RENAN FERREIRA (7-2-0, 1NC) VS. STUART AUSTIN (15-6-0)

KAITLIN YOUNG (12-11-1) VS. MARINA MOKHNATKINA (5-2-0)

CARL SEUMANUTAFA (12-13-0) VS. MUHAMMED DEREESE (8-4-0)

MARIANA MORAIS (17-11-0) VS. ZAMZAGUL FAYZALLANOVA (6-1-0)

CYNTHIA VESCAN (0-0-0) VS. AMANDA LEVE (0-0-0)

TBD VS. TBD

@kenaiandrews

KenaiAndrewshttps://www.mmacrossfire.com
Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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