Published: Sun, September 17, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Matches to Make After UFC Fight Night 116

Matches to Make After UFC Fight Night 116

It's been a long time coming, but Luke Rockhold is finally back in the winner's column.

Former UFC middleweight champion Rockhold went one-on-one with former two-division WSOF title holder David Branch.

Rockhold, who dropped the title to Bisping past year, has been very vocal in opposition to this fight in what is an already-stacked middleweight division.

Branch, meanwhile, returned to the UFC this past May and recorded a split decision win over fellow contender, Krzysztof Jotko.

"I wanted to work on the feet more, but he was just rushing forward so much into the clinch and just laying on me" Rockhold said. Branch tried to defend, but in that position had little answer for the punches raining down on him.

Kamaru Usman, the No. 13 welterweight, knocked out Sergio Moraes with a straight right hand to the jaw in the first round.

Landing multiple strikes, Rockhold took Branch's back near the edge of the cage. Branch then unloaded with shots along the fence, though Rockhold would ultimately survive. Rockhold added in a late takedown just seconds before the bell sounded.

Rockhold (16-3) took Branch, who trains out of Brooklyn, to the ground in the second round and established top control, hammering blows on Branch's head and neck.

Branch put the pressure on immediately. Branch rolled and gave up his back as Rockhold continued to pour on punches in bunches with referee Dan Miragliotta getting closer and closer to stopping the fight. Branch, who entered the cage on an 11-fight winning streak, tapped out 4:05 into Round 2. You want me to beat some sense in you? Good for him, he brought it.

"I'm coming for that belt".

Ever since his loss to Bisping past year, Rockhold has been on a mission to return to the middleweight championship and he didn't lose sight of that goal after bludgeoning Branch into submission.

Rockhold, speaking with FS1 after the fight, pleaded for Georges St-Pierre to back out of his upcoming middleweight title bout against Michael Bisping on November 4.

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