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Middleweight champ David Branch headlines WSOF 20 in light heavyweight bout against Ronny Markes

WSOF

David Branch is going for his second World Series of Fighting belt.

Fresh off his first middleweight title defense, Branch has decided to move up to 205 pounds and take on Ronny Markes as part of the promotion’s light heavyweight tournament. WSOF president Ray Sefo confirmed the match-up to MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani on Wednesday.

Branch vs. Markes will headline WSOF 20 in Mashantucket, Connecticut, on April 10.

Branch (15-3), unbeaten in five fights since joining WSOF in 2012, enters the fight coming off victories over the likes of Yushin Okami, Jesse Taylor and Paulo Filho. Branch, who has fought over 185 pounds twice in his MMA career in catchweight bouts, makes his debut as a light heavyweight.

Fellow UFC veteran Markes (15-3) makes his return to the promotion after scoring a unanimous decision victory over Cully Butterfield at WSOF 12 last August, competing for the first time at 205 pounds after a 2-2 run as a middleweight in the UFC.

In the other light heavyweight tournament semifinal, scheduled for WSOF 19 in Phoenix on March 28, Thiago Silva faces Matt Hamill. Silva and "The Hammer" fought for the first time in 2013, when Silva earned a unanimous decision victory at UFC Fight Night 29 in Brazil. That marked the last time both fighters competed inside the Octagon.

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