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UFC 211 live blog: Dave Branch vs. Krzysztof Jotko

Krzysztof Jotko and Dave Branch will kick off the UFC 211 main card Saturday.
Krzysztof Jotko and Dave Branch will kick off the UFC 211 main card Saturday.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This is the UFC 211 live blog for Dave Branch vs. Krzysztof Jotko, a middleweight bout at Saturday night's UFC event at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Branch, who is making his UFC return, will square off against Jotko, who has won five straight fights, on the main card.

Check out the UFC 211 live blog below.

More Coverage: UFC 211 Results | UFC news

Round 1: David Branch returns for second stint in UFC. The referee for this one is Don Turnage. Jotko in southpaw, and he holds center early. Jotko very rangy. Branch with a big shot but misses. Now an oblique kick from Branch, and that doesn't land either. Both guys holding the distance, and right as I say that Branch shoots in for a take down and gets it in the center of the Octagon. Now Branch — in Jotko's guard — landing some very nice elbows. Jotko doing all he can to exact offense from his back, fishing for an armbar, but Branch is well in control. He's still landing shots at each opening, now slamming fists into Jotko's side. Jotko now butt scoots to fence, and has his back to the links. He gets up. Branch right on him, and a foot stomp. The jostle for position there, with Branch ceding his spot but regaining it. He's still the aggressor, with Jotko dancing to his tune. Now Jotko bursts forward and takes Branch down! Nicely done, but the two-division WSOF champ gets back up very quickly. They are once again on the fence, and Branch likes it here. Round ends right there, with Branch toiling away. MMA Fighting scores R1 for Branch, 10-9

Round 2: Jotko to the center, and Branch tries to snipe him with a head kick. Timing was off on it. Jotko surges forward and slams Branch into the fence, and goes to work there. A lot of the fight taking place there. A spinning back fist there on the break, and now we've got a low kick. Branch took it. Ref is checking on him. He's okay. They resume. Big right hand from Branch, and that one grazed Jotko. Jotko's movement has been very good so far. He is staying out of danger zones on the feet. Branch just took a left hand, and that made him reel a bit. Very nice left jab from Branch just as Jotko was rolling in, and that one counted. Crisp one-two from Jotko there, and each lands — now Branch shoots in, takes him down, and they bounce right back up on fence. They reset. crowd perhaps a little spoiled from all the great action on the prelim, getting a little antsy. Branch ducks in, and crowds Jotko on the fence. Jotko raises his arm in frustration, and the referee responds. He breaks them up and they go back to center. Spinning wheel kick from Jotko didn't land flush, but Branch nevertheless rolled off it as if stunned. He's fine. They are back at it. And Jotko one more time comes forward with a push kick and a punch. End of round. Crowd roars disapproval. MMA Fighting scores R2 for Jotko, 10-9 (19-19)

Round 3: Branch to center, and he's still light on his feet. Wild flurry there from Branch, who can't find Jotko's chin. Jotko still moving very well, making himself a mirage to hit. Branch hasn't been overly fluid in his striking, but he's occasionally sneaking that right hand through. Left jab again from Branch. Pace is slowing here. They clinch in the middle, and it's a shoving contest, as Branch just slowly muscles Jotko to the cage. Branch dogged in this pursuit, trying to toss Jotko as the Dallas crowd lets it be known they aren't impressed. Referee once again breaks them up and back to center. There's a take down from Branch, and this time he's got some space to work with in the center. He's in Jotko's guard, and we'll see if this time he can advance. Fishing for a D'arce maybe, but Jotko is up. Crowd again boos as they roll to the fence, and the referee once again hears it and separates them. Fight is becoming hard to watch, really. The barn isn't flammable. They trade in the middle, with Jotko landing a knee to the body. They toil on the fence one more time at the end. A shake of the hands, and it's over. MMA Fighting scores R3 for Branch, 10-9 (29-28 overall for Branch)

UFC 211 official results: David Branch def. Krzysztof Jotko via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)