Ray Cooper III (pic via @ProFightLeague)

PFL 3 Welterweight Results: Ray Cooper III TKOs Jake Shields in a Shocking Upset, 5 Finishes in 6 Bouts

Washington, DC – What a night of upsets! After an undercard packed with action, the headlining 170 pound fights at PFL 3 saw a pair of established favorites cut down by upstart foes with something to prove. Ray Cooper III and Pavlo Kusch were hardly given a chance by the oddsmakers against Jake Shields and Abubakar Nurmagomedov, respectively, but they both found a way to finish off their name opponents and score valuable points on the road to the PFL $1 million tournament. Read on for recaps of all six PFL 3 welterweight fights, including five finishes, plus clips from the promotion.


PFL Scoring:  6 points for a round 1 finish, 5 points for a round 2 finish, 4 points for a round 3 finish, 3 points for a decision win.


In order of points scored:


Magomed Magomedkerimov (19-5, #190 World)  Sub1-RNC  Herman Terrado (15-4-1, #76 World)

He may have entered the PFL 2018 regular season as one of the least heralded members of the Dagestani contingent, but Magomed Magomedkerimov made sure that everyone knew his name by the end of the show as he vaulted toward the top of the 170 pound leaderboard. Magomedkerimov used his range edge nicely to land solid distance strikes versus stocky powerhouse Herman Terrado. After dinging Terrado with a flying knee, the Russian opened up with wicked straights and uppercuts. The American tried to hang on, but with just a few seconds left in round 1 Magomedkerimov sunk in the RNC and choked his foe out cold! Spectacular work from start to finish for the Dagestani welterweight. 6 points for Magomed Magomedkerimov


Joao Zeferino (22-9, #138 World) KO1 Paul Bradley (23-9, #68 World)

WSOF 25 tournament finalist Joao Zeferino is known for clinical submission acumen, with 15 tapouts on his pro resume. But Zeferino looked like a veteran striker in his PFL regular season debut as he showed off slick movement and heavy hands versus former Bellator and UFC competitor Paul Bradley. After briefly tussling at clinch range with the Iowa wrestler, Zeferino found the mark with a solid right hand and a crushing followup left that put Bradley on rubber legs. A vicious finishing flurry from “The Brazilian Samurai” put Bradley out cold and earned Zeferino the crushing round 1 KO! 6 points for Joao Zeferino


Ray Cooper III (14-5, X-1 Hawaii champ, #568 World)  TKO2  Jake Shields (32-10-1, #67 World)

Jake Shields entered the cage with a resume befitting a Hall of Famer, but all of that went out the window as soon as Ray “Braddah Boy” Cooper III found the range with his bricklike fists. Cooper’s dad split two fights with Shields well over a decade ago, and as a coach at PFL 3 he had Cooper III well-prepared for Shields’ reliable one-gear grappling attack. Cooper easily shucked off Shields’ single leg tries and ground reversals, as he spent a surprising amount of round 1 on top of the BJJ great without much trouble. The Hawaiian landed nasty ground punches at every opportunity, and by the end of the first frame Shields was bloodied and battered. The former Strikeforce kingpin went down early in round 2 and was never really in the fight from there as Cooper blasted him with an overabundance of ground strikes for the shocking upset via TKO. 5 points for Ray Cooper III


Pavlo Kusch (23-5, #294 World)  Sub2-RNC  Abubakar Nurmagomedov (14-2, #67 World)

One of the PFL welterweight tournament favorites, Abubakar Nurmagomedov (cousin of Khabib) had a chance at PFL 3 to right one of his few losses versus former amateur opponent Pavel Kusch. Nurmagomedov’s 5-0 run in WSOF included plenty of domination via wrestling, but Kusch did an excellent job of stopping the Dagestani’s takedown tries and forcing the brawl. Nurmagomedov seemed to be handling business on the feet as he pressed forward with a wide variety of attacks. But Kusch weathered the early storm, and midway through round 2 the winds shifted when he landed a flurry of uppercuts that stunned Abubakar! Kusch never allowed Nurmagomedov to get back in the fight, as he finished things off with ground strikes for the round 2 TKO. What a massive upset for Kusch, as Nurmagomedov closed as high as a -1600 favorite in the books. 5 points for Pavlo Kusch



Bojan Velickovic (16-6-1, #124 World)  TKO2  Jonatan Westin (10-3, #122 World MW)

Relatively unknown Jonatan Westin showed off impressive hip dexterity with snappy early kicks before surprising seven-time Octagon veteran Bojan Velickovic with a takedown midway through round 1. After scrambling off a kimura threat, Velickovic got his takedown back later in the first. But Westin managed to end a very close round 1 threatening with a calf slicer while Bojan retaliated with a toe hold try. Round 2 saw the Swede slow down after Velickovic tagged him with a number of short, accurate punches. Once Bojan took the fight to the mat it was all over as he advanced to mount and pounded out the round 2 TKO win. 5 points for Bojan Velickovic


Rick Story (20-9, #22 World)  UD3  Yuri Villefort (11-6, #126 World)

Twelve time Octagon winner Rick Story owns an impressive wrestling pedigree but Victory FC welterweight champ Yuri Villefort seemed intent on proving that he’s no slouch in that department either during a scramble-filled round 1. Villefort was the first to score a takedown and he managed to reverse or repel the bulk of Story’s grappling efforts in the first half of the fight. “The Horror” came out reinvigorated at the round 2 bell and completely changed the tenor of the fight. Story pushed ahead and swung right hooks and left straight into Villefort’s jaw as the Brazilian had a hard time getting out of the way of anything. While he didn’t show much head movement, Villefort showed incredible toughness as he ate everything that Story could hit him with in a round 2 that bordered on 10-8 territory. Round 3 went no better for Yuri, who was planted on the mat for most of the frame but did manage to avoid being finished. Strong work from Rick Story, who dominated throughout and never stopped pursuing the finish en route to the clear unanimous decision. 3 points for Rick Story


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