Former UFC middleweight contender Derek Brunson’s free agency didn’t last long, with the hard-hitting 39-year-old already booked to fight with his new promotion.

Brunson has signed a multi-fight deal with the PFL, and is all set to make his promotional debut on the biggest event of the PFL calendar.

Brunson will take on former two-time PFL welterweight world champion Ray Cooper III in a middleweight bout at the 2023 PFL World Championships event in Washington DC.

The event serves as the PFL’s season finale, with each of its million-dollar champions set to be crowned at The Anthem on Friday, November 24.

“The 2023 PFL World Championship is set to be the grandest event in PFL history, and we are excited to welcome Derek Brunson to the PFL and host the return of two-time PFL World Champion, Ray Cooper III,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray, via press release.

“MMA’s richest night will feature the biggest stars in MMA vying for six world championships and $6 million, while including the return of Kayla Harrison and Biaggio Ali Walsh.”

Cooper vs. Brunson has been added to the card for the event, with the bout set to top the preliminary card in Washington DC.

Brunson also seemed to confirm that he would be taking part in the 2024 PFL season, where he’ll be competing for one million dollars.

“New kid on the block. BLONDE BRUNSON 2.0. Million dollar tournament incoming!” he tweeted.

“I started focusing more on my road work for the first time in my career. Only up!”

2023 PFL World Championship: Official fight card


  • Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Clay Collard – for lightweight championship
  • Denis Goltsov vs. Renan Ferreira – for heavyweight championship
  • Larissa Pacheco vs. Marina Mokhnatkina – for women’s featherweight championship
  • Kayla Harrison vs. Julia Budd
  • Sadibou Sy vs. Magomed Magomedkerimov – for welterweight championship
  • Gabriel Braga vs. Jesus Pinedo – for featherweight championship
  • Joshua Silveira vs. Impa Kasanganay – for light heavyweight championship


  • Ray Cooper III vs. Derek Brunson
  • Biaggio Ali Walsh vs. Joel Lopez – amateur bout
  • Bubba Jenkins vs. Chris Wade
  • Khai Wu vs. Phil Caracappa
  • Jesse Stirn vs. Josh Blyden