Former World Series of Fighting two-division world champion David Branch has a golden opportunity in front of him.
On Saturday (Sept. 16, 2017) night, Branch will headline a UFC Fight Night card in Pittsburgh, as he’s set to take on former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold in a five-round bout. If he can come out on top, Branch will undoubtedly put his name into the title mix at 185 pounds.
When the fight was announced, many labeled it as a mismatch despite the fact that Rockhold hasn’t competed since June 2016 when he was shockingly knocked out by champion Michael Bisping. Branch, on the other hand, returned to the UFC last May at UFC 211 where he scored a lackluster split-decision victory over Krzystof Jotko.
Regardless, Branch said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour that he’s ready to ‘rumble’ with Rockhold, and that he plans to win in a way that leaves no doubt in the minds of fans:
“I don’t like to think too far down the road, but the way that I want to win this fight and the way that I intend to win this fight, I think that there should be no doubt about it,” Branch said. “Because Luke was the former UFC middleweight champion. Everybody’s been saying for years, how would Branch do in the UFC? How would he do? … Okay, I won in the UFC against a top-10 guy (Jotko), that’s to answer everybody’s question.
“But now everybody is like, ‘Okay he won, but how is he going to do against an elite guy?’ What about that? Now this guy was a former champion? What the f**k else? This is a tough kid, that’s why I wanted to fight him. When I heard that I had the opportunity to fight him, I was like, ‘Hell motherf**king yes. Hell yes.’ This is the kind of fight that I f**king want to do right here and I’m going to be able to get it on, I’m going to be able to rumble with this kid because he’s going to want to bring it, and I’m going to bring it. And that’s the kind of fight that I know that he can’t beat me in.”
Do you think Branch has what it takes to score the upset, or will Rockhold simply be too much for the 35-year-old New York native?