PFL 3’s Ray Cooper III: I’m the Best 170er, Want to Prove It

Ray Cooper III PFL 2021 World Championship
Ray Cooper III, PFL 2021 World Championship ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Alex Behunin/Cageside Press

Ray Cooper has rattled off back-to-back PFL championship seasons, earning a smooth $2 million in the process. As he prepares to try to make in three in a row, the questions have obviously flocked in about whether or not he has enough challenges in the organization. The PFL welterweight already feels like he’s the best 170-pounder in the would – but he understands the desire to have him prove it.

“I think I’m the best in the world already,” Cooper stated. “But being able to prove it – it’s just a thing we got to talk about with everything with the PFL.”

Being able to provide a comfortable life for his family, and not having to work a second job to do so, has always been the #1 goal for Cooper. However, now that PFL has helped him achieve that level, he wants to test those limits and show people what he already believes.

“My goal is always jut to push myself to whatever the limit is. I don’t put any limits on myself,” he said. “I think I’d beat the UFC champion. I think I’d beat the Bellator champion. I wish we could.”

While many in the MMA world, including UFC president Dana White, have recently bashed the boxing model – Cooper says he wishes that MMA was a bit more like boxing in that regard.

“I wish we could fighter inter-promotions – like how boxing does. That’s how you find out who’s the best boxers and that’s why they’re making the money they make,” Cooper said. “They fight each other. You know what I mean? So I wish that we could do that with the UFC and Bellator. We could just fight that kind of fight to see who’s really the best.”

And while the aforementioned care for his family always was at the top of his list, that doesn’t mean proving he’s the greatest isn’t extremely important to Cooper. In fact, it’s something he wants badly.

“It is important to me to fight the best guys in the world and to test my limits,” he said.

Ray Cooper III starts his campaign to win a third straight PFL welterweight title this Friday at PFL 3. He’ll fight Carlos Leal in the co-main event.

You can hear the entire audio of this interview at 24:35.