Rory MacDonald, Ray Cooper III to Headline PFL’s First 2021 Playoff Event

By: Tudor Leonte
Jul 27, 2021

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One of the most anticipated fights in Professional Fighters League will take place on Aug. 13.

On Tuesday morning, PFL revealed the full lineup for its upcoming playoff event. As announced last week, the card will feature the semifinals at lightweight and welterweight. The bill is headlined by a clash between Rory MacDonald and Ray Cooper III. In the co-main event, Joao Zeferino (26-9, 5-1 PFL) will square off with Magomed Magomedkerimov (27-5, 9-0 PFL). The winners will advance to the finale, where the winner will take home the much-coveted $1 million prize.

“The excitement of the Professional Fighters League’s final four is unmatched in sports. The stakes for the fighters could not be higher as they compete for spots in the $1 million world championship bouts,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray in a press release. “Not only will 550 million MMA fans around the world witness win-or-go-home Playoff action, but they will see some of the best fighters the PFL has to offer showcased.”

Former Bellator MMA welterweight kingpin MacDonald (22-7-1, 1-1 PFL) earned his way to the playoffs after submitting Curtis Millender with a first-round rear-naked choke at PFL 2. While the “Red King” conceded a decision to Gleison Tibau in his second fight in the PFL 2021 Regular Season, he kept his No. 2 spot in the seeding.

In the 2021 season, 2019 PFL champion Cooper (22-7, 9-2-1 PFL) submitted Jason Ponet with an arm-triangle 83 seconds into the opening stanza before upending Nikolay Aleksakhin. “Bradda Boy” has been vocal about getting a chance to fight MacDonald since it was first announced that the Canadian would join the league.

Also on the card, the 155-pound playoffs will see Ultimate Fighting Championship alum Clay Collard (20-8, 2-0 PFL) take on Raush Manfio (13-3, 2-0 PFL) while 2019 lightweight runner-up Loik Radzhabov (14-3-1, 3-3-1 PFL) faces Alexander Martinez (8-1, 1-1 PFL) once again.

PFL 7: 2021 Playoffs will go down at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The main card will air on ESPN2 while the preliminary card on ESPN+. The card will also feature two-time PFL 155-pound titleholder Natan Schulte vs. UFC vet Olivier Aubin-Mercier. Advertisement
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