PFL Playoffs 2021 predictions — Rory MacDonald vs. Ray Cooper: Fight card, odds, start time, how to watch


On Friday night, former Bellator champion and UFC veteran Rory MacDonald looks to make a run at the PFL welterweight crown when he faces Ray Cooper III in the first round of the 2021 playoffs. The fight is one of four welterweight and lightweight semifinal bouts scheduled for the card from Seminole Hard Rock and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

MacDonald made the jump from Bellator to PFL after losing the Bellator welterweight title to Douglas Lima in October 2019. A long wait for his PFL debut followed after the 2020 PFL season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Once the wait was over, MacDonald made a big statement in his PFL debut, scoring a first-round submission of Curtis Millender. Despite a highly controversial split decision loss to Gleison Tibau in his second regular season bout, MacDonald qualified for the playoffs and a fight with Cooper.

Cooper won the 2019 welterweight title just one year after losing in the finals of the 2018 playoffs. In the 2019 finals, Cooper knocked out David Michaud, capping off a season in which he went 3-1-1. That momentum has carried into the 2021 season, with a first-round submission over Jason Ponet and a decision win over Nikolay Aleksakhin in his regular season bouts.

Here’s the fight card for the PFL playoffs with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook.

PFL Playoffs card, odds

Rory MacDonald -115

Ray Cooper III -105

Welterweight semifinals

Magomed Magomedkerimov -700

Sadibou Sy +500

Welterweight semifinals

Clay Collard -170

Raush Manfio +145

Lightweight semifinals

Loik Radzhabov -180 Alex Martinez +155 Lightweight semifinals

PFL Playoffs viewing information

Date: Aug. 12 | Start time: 9 p.m. ET
Location: Seminole Hard Rock and Casino — Hollywood, Florida
TV Channel: ESPN2 | Stream: ESPN+


Rory MacDonald vs. Ray Cooper III: Cooper’s wrestling background hasn’t dictated his results in the cage, with 14 knockouts and seven submissions making up all but one of his 22 career victories. He’s a dangerous, well-rounded fighter who is bringing some serious momentum into the playoffs. That said, MacDonald is also well-rounded and has fought a higher level of competition throughout his career. There have been plenty of disappointing results that dot MacDonald’s resume, but he still is a fighter with the kind of patient approach that can manage to wear down someone like Cooper before finishing the fight off. Cooper has lost four fights by submission while MacDonald has won more fights by submission than by any other method. Pick: Rory MacDonald via SUB2 

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