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Thiago Santos to fight David Branch at UFC Atlantic City

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Belem-Santos vs Smith
Thiago Santos
Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

After recording another knockout victory, Thiago Santos is already set to get back to work.

A middleweight bout between “Marreta” and former World Series of Fighting two-division champion David Branch has officially been added to the April 21 UFC show, which takes place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. The booking comes just days after Santos defeated Anthony Smith by second-round TKO in Brazil at UFC Belem.

Santos (17-5) has now won four straight and eight of 10. His finish of Smith put him into a tie with Anderson Silva for the most knockout victories in UFC middleweight history, and he improved his record inside the Octagon to 9-4.

Following his win at UFC Belem, Santos questioned the UFC’s ranking system and his placement in it, and now he gets his chance to rocket up the charts directly when he takes on Branch, currently No. 8 on the official list.

Branch (21-4) kicked off his second stint in the Octagon with a win over Krzysztof Jotko at UFC 211 last May. That marked his 11th consecutive victory, with 10 of those wins coming in the WSOF (now Professional Fighters League) promotion, where he reigned as both the middleweight and light heavyweight champion.

That impressive streak came to an end in the main event of UFC Pittsburgh last September, when Luke Rockhold forced Branch to tap to strikes in Round 2.

A light heavyweight bout between Corey Anderson (9-4) and Patrick Cummins (10-4) has also been made official.

See the updated card for UFC Atlantic City below:

Leslie Smith vs. Aspen Ladd

Merab Dvalishvili vs. Augusto Mendes

Magomed Bibulatov vs. Ulka Sasaki

David Branch vs. Thiago Santos

Corey Anderson vs. Patrick Cummins