Derek Brunson’s PFL debut was a grappling lesson to the seasoned Ray Cooper III who, despite some striking success early in the first, seemed outgunned once the match hit the canvas.
Brunson displayed a large amount of grittiness in the fight after being floored momentarily by a few left hooks early in the first. Many fans were speculative about Cooper’s motivation, as the former 2x welterweight champion missed weight in his middleweight debut and had very limited answers at PFL’s media day.
Certainly a rocky welcome to 185, but Cooper’s signature power is still very much there up a weight class. He once again showed he has the power to hurt anyone. With Johnny Eblen sitting cage-side, it appears a matchup between the Bellator welterweight champion and Derek Brunson could be on the horizon. Or (more likely) a Champ vs. Champ matchup between Eblen and the winner of Sy-Magomedkerimov.
In Brunson’s post-fight interview, he did call out Jake Paul. But admittedly, I don’t believe that matchup will materialize. Who would you want to see Brunson face next inside the PFL?