Ray Cooper III Avenges Father, Obliterates Jake Shields in Professional Fighters League

By: Brian Knapp
Jul 6, 2018

More than a decade after his father submitted to a rear-naked choke from Jake Shields at a Shooto Americas event in Honolulu, Ray Cooper III meted out some vengeance.

Cooper cut down the former EliteXC and Strikeforce champion with punches in the second round of the Professional Fighters League 3 main event on Thursday at the GWU Smith Center in Washington, D.C. Shields (32-10-1, 1-1 PFL) succumbed to blows 2:09 into Round 2, as the 39-year-old Cesar Gracie disciple lost for the third time in four appearances.

A prohibitive underdog when he entered the cage, Cooper (14-4, 1-0 PFL) floored the Californian with a left hook in the center of the cage early in the middle stanza. Already bloody, Shields hit the deck in no condition to defend himself. Cooper unleashed a barrage of lefts and rights until his counterpart turtled in a show of surrender and forced referee Mario Yamasaki to intervene.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian welterweight Pavel Kusch delivered a massive upset of his own, as he submitted the heavily favored Abubakar Nurmagomedov with a rear-naked choke in the second round of their featured clash at 170 pounds. Nurmagomedov (14-2, 0-1 PFL) conceded defeat 1:23 into Round 2, his run of six consecutive victories at an end.

Kusch (23-5, 1-0 PFL) has rattled off 10 wins in 11 appearances.

Elsewhere, longtime Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Rick Story was victorious in his return from a two-year sabbatical, as he captured a unanimous decision from Yuri Villefort in a three-round welterweight showcase. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Story (20-9, 1-0 PFL), who competed for the first time since August 2016.

The loss snapped a five-fight winning streak for Villefort (11-6, 0-1 PFL).

Finally, Tataev Team prospect Shamil Gamzatov kept his perfect professional record intact with a unanimous decision over Eddie Gordon, as he outpointed “The Ultimate Fighter 19” winner across three rounds at 185 pounds. Gamzatov (12-0, 1-0 PFL) swept the scorecards with 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 marks from the judges.

The 35-year-old Gordon (8-5, 0-1 PFL) has lost four of his last five fights.

In other action, former Ring of Combat champion John Howard submitted Gasan Umalatov with a rear-naked choke 2:59 into the second round of their welterweight confrontation; Magomed Magomedkerimov tapped Herman Terrado with a rear-naked choke 4:54 into the first round of their welterweight scrap; Joao Zeferino put away Paul Bradley with punches 1:58 into the first round of their welterweight encounter; Bruno Santos took a unanimous decision from Sadibou Sy in a three-round battle at 185 pounds, eliciting 29-28 scores from all three judges; Louis Taylor cut down Anderson Goncalves with punches 58 seconds into the third round of their middleweight affair; Rex Harris eked out a split decision -- 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 -- over Andre Luis Leal Lobato in a 15-minute encounter at 185 pounds; Abusupiyan Magomedov disposed of Danillo Villefort with a front kick to the body and follow-up punches 3:37 into the first round of their middleweight duel; and Bojan Velickovic swept away Jonatan Westin with punches 2:50 into the second round of their welterweight showdown.

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