Last night, Hawaii’s Ray Cooper III became a millionaire, winning the PFL’s 2019 welterweight season by defeating David Michaud.
While this victory is still fresh, Cooper is already looking ahead to the 2020 PFL season. This upcoming season will be particularly exciting for PFL welterweights given that the promotion recently signed former UFC title challenger and Bellator champ Rory MacDonald.
Cooper is looking forward to the chance to fighting MacDonald, whether the matchup materializes early in the season or not.
“He’s a veteran in the sport,” Cooper said of MacDonald post-fight (via MMA Junkie). “He’s got a win over BJ Penn, one of my boys, and I’d like to get him back on that,” Cooper said. “If I fight him first, I’ll fight him first. I’ll fight him whenever. I’m ready for him.”
Cooper nearly won PFL welterweight gold in 2018, but ultimately missed his target. After this 2019 win, he’s hoping for similar championship success in 2020 and beyond.
“I came close last year. It feels good, but I’m looking to win multiple titles in multiple years, so this is just a first step. Next year is going to be even harder, so I’ve just got to keep training hard and wait for what the future (holds).”
Ray Cooper III is 20-7-1 with notable wins over Jake Shields (twice), Chris Curtis, and now Michaud. What do you think 2020 holds for the new PFL champ? Do you think he’ll defeat Rory MacDonald?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/31/2019.