The first quarterfinal of the PFL 2019 playoffs ended in a draw, but it was Ray Cooper III moving forward in the tournament.
The first proper tournament quarterfinal bout of PFL 7 2019 saw welterweights Ray Cooper III and Sadibou Sy throw down. Sy was the third seed entering the night, while Cooper was ranked sixth of the eight fighters to make the post-season. Hawaii’s Cooper, however, had gone all the way to the finale the previous year, experience that would no doubt play a factor.
Sy opened by flashing a kick, but he allowed Cooper to back him up. The Hawaiian caught a kick, and drove Sy into the fence. Sy reversed, Cooper, nearly powerd him down, but showing some acrobatics and teriffic balance, Sy managed to stay on his feet. However, Sy was trapped against the fence. When he did manage to move, Cooper caught him in a wild exchange, dropping him! Ground n’ pound followed, with Sy desperate to survive. He would, but Ray Cooper III had his opponet trapped on the ground against the fence.
Somehow, Sy survived, and managed to make it back to his feet – and dropped Cooper just before the end of the round!
Round two had Sy with his back to the cage almost immediately after the opening bell. They worked in that position for a while, until Sy caught Cooper low. As the action restarted, they had a brief exchange before Cooper drove for a takedown, finishing it. Sy hit the ground with his back against the fence, Cooper trapping his legs with his own. He’d end up in half-guard, and while Sy would eventually power up, it led to more grinding against the cage, Cooper in control. He’d land another takedown at round’s end.
The bout would end in a draw. Per the PFL ruleset, judges chose the fighter they felt had the “most complete body of work” in the bout. Which resulted in Cooper getting the nod.
Ray Cooper III vs. Sadibou Sy ends in a majority draw (Ray Cooper III advances)