Last season’s welterweight champion, Ray Cooper III (21-7-1), began his 2021 PFL campaign at the league’s second event on Thursday, April 29. Cooper welcomed French Guiana’s Jason Ponet (20-13-1, 1 NC) to the Decagon. The Hawaiian Cooper had punched his ticket to the Championship in back-to-back seasons thanks to his crisp boxing attack, but faced a unique puzzle against the Wushu Sanda stylist Ponet.


Cooper stalked Ponet right away. Ponet looked for a takedown and Cooper sprawled to keep it standing. Cooper caught a knee in the clinch and slammed Ponet to the mat violently. Once on top, Cooper quickly slapped on an arm-triangle and coerced the tap from the newcomer.


The lightning-fast finish from the reigning champion earned him six points in the welterweight standings, skyrocketing him to the top of the division.


Ray Cooper III def. Jason Ponet by submission (arm-triangle choke). Round 1, 1:23