Fort Lauderdale, FL— With a championship rematch arriving this Wednesday, Magomed Magomedkerimov has a big task ahead of him — and he doesn’t believe it will go the distance.
Fighting Ray Cooper III, who he defeated in the PFL 2018 welterweight final, Magomedkerimov (29-5) said Monday that “my plan is to finish it ahead of time. I don’t think we’re going to go five rounds.”
In their first meeting, the Dagestani fighter submitted Cooper via guillotine choke.
Speaking at the PFL 2021 World Championship media day, Magomedkerimov acknowledged Cooper’s recent success, particularly against former Bellator champ Rory MacDonald. “I think it was a great fight. He found his way, he found the key to that lock, and the approach did a good job.”
And yes, time has passed since he and Cooper first met. “Two years passed. He wasn’t wasting his time, he’s been having fights and training, he might have certain things,” acknowledged Magomedkerimov, “but so was I. I was training, I’ve put a lot of work in. I think again, the outcome is going to be the same, but I just don’t know which way. We will see how it unfolds.”
Noting that Cooper is “a great fighter,” Magomedkerimov later added that “I have no room to relax. I cannot make any mistakes. Just like any fight I have to approach, play it smart. But I see in myself certain benefits and certain advantages that I have over him that make me feel confident in terms of my performance.”
We’ll find out Wednesday if his prediction of an early night comes to pass.
Watch the full PFL 2021 World Championship media day appearance from Magomed Magomedkerimov above. More coverage can be found below. The event takes place this Wednesday, October 27, 2021, in Hollywood, FL.