PFL 6: Cooper vs. Kusch Results and Recap

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Ray Cooper III and Pavlo Kusch PFL 6
Ray Cooper III and Pavlo Kusch Credit: PFL

The Professional Fighters League returned Thursday, touching down in Atlantic City, NJ, with PFL 6: Cooper vs. Kusch.

With the second batch of regular season fights for the welterweight and middleweight divisions, the PFL was in the process of winding down its regular season at PFL 6 on Thursday. Though one final regular season card remained (PFL 7, which would consist of fights for athletes who had their second bout of the season delayed due to injury), much of the playoff picture would be cleared up at PFL 6.

Competing on the card were names like Rick Story, Jake Shields, and John Howard, all well known from their UFC runs. Yet atop the event in the headlining spot was Ray Cooper III vs. Pavlo Kusch. Cooper had upset Shields just a few weeks back, which put him in prime position in the welterweight division.

Also on Thursday’s card, Olympic medalist Kayla Harrison was back in action, taking on the far more experienced Jozette Cotton in an excellent test of the judoka Harrison’s skills.

Check back come fight time for results and a recap of the night’s action!

In preliminary action, former TUF winner Eddie ‘Truck’ Gordon found himself eliminated from the PFL post-season, when he suffered his second defeat of the season. Gasan Umalatov captured the unanimous decision win in that card-opening out, while Bruno Santos handed John ‘Doomsday’ Howard a unanimous decision loss as well.

Another pair of UFC alums were successful on the prelims however. Jake Shields fought off a late surge by Herman Terrado to earn his own decision win, while Rick ‘The Horror’ Story continued along the comeback trail, submitting Carlton Minus.

Joao Zeferino vs. Yuri Villefort

With Jake Shields and other looking on, Zeferino and Vellefort battled through the better part of two rounds, with Zeferino looking the sharpest he had in some time. Yuri Villefort, who lost to Rick Story in his opening fight of the regular season, proved game, however, looking to neutralize his opponent with takedowns. He was moving forward more often than not. However, the pair were tiring by the end of the second, and Villefort struggled with takedowns, merely stalling along the cage, until the pair erupted in a final flurry to end the second.

The third saw Zeferino looking for a takedown, and taking the back as Villefort regained his feet. Riding his opponent like a backpack, he got a hook in, and though he looked a bit high, he got the rear-naked choke in!

Joao Zeferino def. Yuri Villefort by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 3, 1:10

Abubakar Nurmagomedov vs. Jonatan Westin

It was Westin pushing the action against the cousin of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov early. The Dagestani fighter stayed on the outside early, but that wouldn’t last. However, just as he was pressing, Westin connected with a low blow kick. Once action was back underway, however, Nurmagomedov got the fight to the ground, and went to work improving position (and later trapping an arm) before Westin finally made it back to his feet. Standing up, however, would be short lived. Nurmagomedov would drag things back down shortly after, and end the round looking to keep the fight grounded.

Round two started with another Nurmagomedov takedown, and while Westin defended with a guillotine, that appeared futile. Later he’d try for a triangle, but Nurmagomedov pulled free. The entire round, however, would see Nurmagomedov working from the top, and no amount of triangle attempts or hammerfists from the bottom would get Westin anywhere, frankly.

Round three started in nearly identical fashion, with Westin again looking to throw up a triangle from the bottom. He’d get closer with an arm-bar this time out, and make it back to his feet with just under a minute in the round. Yet positional dominance/top control from Abubakar Nurmagomedov was the story, as he rode out the clock for a unanimous decision win.

Abubakar Nurmagomedov def. Jonatan Westin by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Kayla Harrison vs. Jozette Cotton

Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison got back in the cage on Thursday at PFL 6. Flashing her jab and throwing a leg kick early, she maanged to stun Cotton inside the first minute. Harrison threw a high kick, and was able to move in and out effectively without taking any damage. However, when the time came, Harrison had no trouble pulling the trigger on a big double leg takedown, moving straight to side control. Cotton worked to tie her up, as Harrison tried to capture an arm. The Olympian then took the back briefly, then moved to mount. Then came the ground and pound, measured. Harrison would transition to an arm-bar, but Cotton held on to make it to the end of the round.

A bit of a slip didn’t help Jozette Cotton any in round two, as she was planted on her back early. This time it was Harrison working from within her opponent’s guard. Posturing up she began landing hammer fists and going to the body. Pushing to her feet still in Cotton’s guard she landed some big shots from the top, but wasn’t frenzied enough to get the stoppage. Cotton appeared to connect with an illegal upkick late in the round, and Harrison moved to side control, dropping some knees to the body.

A double leg takedown saw Cotton on her back early in round three. Cotton briefly though guillotine, but Harrison pulled free. She moved right into mount, but Cotton scrambled, only to wind up mounted anyway. Cotton would escape only to have Harrison trap her and begin unleashing some more ground n’ pound. The ref waved it off, saving a bloodied Jozette Cotton from more damage.

Kayla Harrison def. Jozette Cotton by TKO, Round 3, 1:24

Magomed Magomedkerimov vs. Bojan Velickovic

Magomedkerimov caught a kick early in the PFL 6 co-main event, and got Bojan Velickovic to the ground. He wouldn’t stay down long, after threatening with kicks off his back. However, Belickovic then landed a kick full force to the groin, bringing about a pause to the action. Back underway they’d go to the ground and Magomedkerimov threatened with a choke from the top. Velickovic escaped, and they made it back up. Magomedkerimov found himself reversed against the cage. They’d battle it out for a bit, but in the final minute it was Magomedkerimov with a low blow, returning the favor from earlier. Velickovic would land a solid knee in the final thirty seconds, while Magomedkerimov scored one last takedown.

Round two started with Magomedkerimov jumping into a guillotine. It looked scary, and Magomedkerimov managed to pull Velikovic to the canvas. However, he slipped free, and was in control. They scrambled and Magomedkerimov jumped into a guillotine again. On the feet, Magomedkerimov would press the action, only to be pushed back by Velikovic, and controlled on the ground a little. A close round in the end, and round three would be critical.

Magomedkerimov would use his jab to keep Velikovic on the outside early in round three. Bojan would launch a flying knee that came up just short in the second minute. They’d clinch moments later, and Velikovic would look to shoot; no dice. Magomedkerimov fired off a kick. They’d go to the ground with Magomedkerimov working from guard. A key takedown for Magomedkerimov. Velikovic fired punches from the bottom, but was unable to get back to his feet. Magomedkerimov moved to mount in the dying seconds, landing some hammer fists and possibly stealing the round.

Magomed Magomedkerimov def. Bojan Velickovic by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Ray Cooper III vs. Pavlo Kusch

Cooper held center early, backing Kusch up, and dropping him early! He moved in for some follow-up blows, and as Kusch was moving back to his feet, Cooper connected again! A short right, the first blow seemed to hit the body, but Cooper’s every punch was simply loaded!

Ray Cooper III def. Pavlo Kusch by knockout, Round 1, 0:18

PFL 6 Results:

Ray Cooper III def. Pavlo Kusch by knockout, Round 1, 0:18
Magomed Magomedkerimov def. Bojan Velickovic by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Kayla Harrison def. Jozette Cotton by TKO, Round 3, 1:24
Abubakar Nurmagomedov def. Jonatan Westin by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Joao Zeferino def. Yuri Villefort by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 3, 1:10

Preliminary Card Results:

Rick Story def. Carlton Minus by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 2:55
Jake Shields def. Herman Terrado by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Bruno Santos def. John Howard by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Abus Magomedov def. Anderson Goncalves by TKO, Round 1, 1:27
Shamil Gamzatov def. Rex Harris by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Louis Taylor def. Andre Lobato by unanimous decision (30-37, 30-37, 30-26)
Gasan Umalatov def. Eddie Gordon by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

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