After the shortest retirement in MMA history, Chris Curtis returned to the PFL’s welterweight tournament Friday night, stepping in to replace Magomed Magomedkerimov against Ray Cooper III at PFL 7 2019.
Chris Curtis took off his gloves after losing to Magomed Magomedkerimov in quarterfinal action Friday night, and left them in the PFL cage. He’d later announce his retirement from MMA on social media. It was just another storyline at PFL 7 2019 on Friday in Las Vegas. An emotional moment for any fighter. But imagine the roller coaster of emotions Curtis felt when he was called upon to replace Magomedkerimov against Ray Cooper III in the semifinals later that same night.
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Given enough time, every star in the sky eventually fades. Thank you all for the love and support. I am proud of my run and what I have accomplished in the sport but it's time for me to focus on my family and life outside of fighting. Thank you all from the very bottom of my heart.
What a turn of events. Magomedkerimov was injured and could not continue. Curtis was the lucky loser. Curtis and Cooper would be fighting for a chance at a million dollars in the PFL 2019 welterweight finale.
Cooper held center early, working his jab. Curtis fired a spinning kick, and Cooper closed the distance for a clinch. Curtis broke free, then covered up while Cooper unloaded. Curtis would later fan on a hook kick, then fire a straight left. Cooper decided to change levels and shoot for a takedown, pinning Curtis on the ground by the fence. Cooper would eventually spend most of the round on top of his opponent, but was unable to make much happen. He’d move to mount in the final seconds of the round, only to run out of time before he could land anything significant.
In the second, Ray Cooper III brought Curtis’ sudden comeback to a screeching halt. A knockout punch from the Hawaiian sent Curtis crashing to the canvas! That was all she wrote for Curtis, who deserves tons of credit for returning after announcing his retirement. As for Ray Cooper III, he now heads to the finals for the second year in a row.
Official Result: Ray Cooper III def. Chris Curtis by knockout, Round 2, 0:11