The PFL announced Monday that Magomed Magomedkerimov has withdrawn from the event due to an undisclosed injury. As a result, Ray Cooper III will step in against Jason Jackson on Feb. 24. While the original bout was slated for welterweight, Cooper vs. Jackson will be contested at a 182-pound catchweight. In addition, Biaggio Ali Walsh has a new opponent for his professional debut, as he will now face Emmanuel Palacio on the preliminary draw.
PFL vs. Bellator takes place at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and features multiple bouts matching champions from both organizations against one another. The card will be headlined by a heavyweight clash between 2023 PFL heavyweight champ Renan Ferreira and reigning Bellator heavyweight king Ryan Bader. The main card will air on pay-per-view via ESPN+.
A two-time PFL champion at welterweight, Cooper moved to 185 pounds for his last outing, a unanimous decision loss to UFC veteran Derek Brunson at the PFL Championships this past November. Cooper missed weight by 0.8 pounds ahead of the bout.
Jackson claimed 170-pound gold with a third-round knockout of Yaroslav Amosov at Bellator 301. “The Ass Kicking Machine” will enter the matchup with Cooper on a seven-bout winning streak.
Magomedkerimov is the 2023 PFL welterweight champion and has won six straight outings since falling to Cooper at the 2021 PFL Championships.