Article

Rockhold Returns To Championship Form, Finishes Branch

ROCKHOLD vs BRANCH

Luke Rockhold celebrates after defeating David Branch in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside the PPG Paints Arena on September 16, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold made a triumphant return to active duty Saturday at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, as he scored a second-round stoppage of David Branch in his first bout since losing his title to Michael Bisping in June 2016.

“I’m happy to get the win,” Rockhold said. “I wanted to take my time and be patient and he rushed the fight. He brought it and did what he had to do, and I did what I had to do. Now I’m coming for that belt.”

The middleweights started fast, Branch throwing punches and Rockhold returning fire with kicks before they clinched against the fence for a brief spell. Branch kept the heat on and he tagged Rockhold with several hard punches and also scored a quick takedown, keeping the Californian on the defensive. Rockhold did get a takedown in the final minute, though, showing Branch that he wasn’t ready to go away.

RELATED:Luke Rockhold Octagon Interview | Main Card ResultsMike Perry Octagon Interview

After some back and forth action on the feet and in the clinch early in round two, Rockhold got Branch to the mat with two minutes left and quickly moved into the mount. On the mat, Rockhold let his hands go, first from the mount and then as he took his opponent’s back, and after a series of unanswered blows, Branch tapped out at the 4:05 mark of the second stanza.

With the win, the No. 3-ranked Rockhold ups his record to 16-3. The No. 9-ranked Branch falls to 21-4.

Media

Recent
Joe Rogan breaks down the upcoming straweight bout between Claudia Gadelha and Jessica Andrade this Friday in Japan at UFC Fight Night: Saint-Preux vs Okami, live on FXX.
19/09/2017
Watch for free as contract winner Geoff Neal takes on Chase Waldon in week 3 of Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series. Watch the full first season exclusively on FIGHT PASS.
19/09/2017
Kamaru Usman extended his division-best win streak to six in Pittsburgh over the weekend with a first-round KO against Sergio Moraes. Francis Ngannou flew to Pittsburgh to support his friend and he greeted Usman after the fight.
19/09/2017
Watch again for free as contract winner Karl Roberson and Ryan Spann face off in week 3 of Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series.
19/09/2017