Top 6 – Number 3: X1 Returns: Cooper vs. Conn
X1 44 “RETURNS” marks the first time X1 has been back to the Blaisdell since 2011 when Max Holloway won the X1 lightweight championship. The X1 44 card showcases some of Hawaii’s best, and upcoming, mixed martial arts fighters. The main event features Lolohea Mahe taking on Trent Standing in a Super Heavyweight bout. This fight will be quick and violent, so if you have a nervous stomach turn the channel until this one is over – probably in the 1st round. Neither fighter has ever gone the distance and most bouts in which they have competed have not made it out of the 1st round. All of Mahe and all but 2 of Standing’s fights have ended by TKO via punches or strikes. Neither fighter likes to fight on the ground so put ’em up and let ‘em go. Look for this fight to be one of GFL’s Top 5 Finishes next week.
A bout that may be of more interest to MMA fans would be Ray Cooper III (9-3) v Zach Conn. Ray Cooper III from Waianae, Hawaii has finished his last 6 opponents, 4 by knock out, and has not lost since November 2014. He recently traveled to California to face Joshua Drake, winning the Gladiator Challenge Lightweight Title. Cooper is on an Island that has seen some of the best MMA fighters compete in the past and he seems to be ready to take up the gauntlet to continue the tradition. He is ranked the No. 1 pro lightweight in Hawaii.
At first glance his opponent Zach Conn may not seem like much of a threat. Though his record is 5-5, he has won 4 of his last 5 bouts, that loss being a split decision loss to an undefeated Tyler McGuire on McGuire’s home turf. Conn has had to rebuild his career after a dismal 1-4 start. A win against Cooper would not only give him his first winning record as a pro it would springboard him in the eyes of many organizations.