PFL welterweight Ray Cooper III is looking to knockout everyone he faces to defend his PFL crown.
With the PFL season being cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cooper has been unable to fight since 2019. He spent the majority of the year enjoying life back in Hawaii taking some time off.
“I would train off and on,” Cooper told Cageside Press about his layoff. “I wasn’t too worried about it. Financially I was fine. I really just wanted to compete and fight. That was my main thing. I love to fight.”
Luckily, training during the pandemic wasn’t the hardest thing for Cooper. Rather than going to a gym to train, he puts his time in entirely at home. His training partners mostly live with him. “Mainly by brothers and my cousins,” said Cooper. Aside from that, only a few close friends were allowed into the “closed training sessions.”
Cooper’s passion for the sport comes from a long lineage of fighters. In fact one of his best friends and cousins is UFC Featherweight Kai Kamaka III who competes two days after him.
Cooper will be entering the 2021 PFL season as the reigning champion from the 2019 season. In his opening bout, he was drawn against France’s Jason Ponet, who is making his promotional debut.
“I really didn’t know nothing about the guy,” Cooper said on his opponent. “It doesn’t really matter who I fight. I fight everyone the same way. I don’t underestimate anybody. I will go in there and try and put him away.”
Cooper returns to action on April 29 at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Also competing on the night is former UFC title challenger Rory MacDonald who will face David Michaud in the main event.
Catch the full interview with 2019 PFL welterweight tournament winner Ray Cooper III above. We discuss the year off from competing in 2020, the upcoming 2021 PFL tournament and more.