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Luke Rockhold vs. David Branch headlines UFC Fight Night card in Pittsburgh

UFC 199 Open Workouts Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Luke Rockhold will finally return to the Octagon.

The former UFC middleweight champion, who hasn’t competed since June 2016, is now set to meet David Branch in the main event of UFC Fight Night 116 in Pittsburgh on Sept. 16, the UFC announced Saturday.

Rockhold (15-3) was riding a four-fight finishing streak when he earned a shot at the belt in 2015, and stopped Chris Weidman to claim the title. Six months later, Michael Bisping avenged a submission loss to Rockhold and knocked out the champion on short notice.

Branch (21-3) re-signed with the UFC after winning 10 in a row under the World Series of Fighting banner, winning and defending the promotion’s middleweight and light heavyweight belts. In his first fight back inside the Octagon, Branch defeated Krzysztof Jotko via split decision in May.

The UFC officially announced six other bouts for the card: Hector Lombard vs. Anthony Smith, Krzysztof Jotko vs. Uriah Hall, Kamaru Usman vs. Sergio Moraes, Gilbert Burns vs. Jason Saggo, Anthony Hamilton vs. Daniel Spitz, and Justin Ledet vs. Dmitrii Smoliakov.

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