Former two-weight class World Series of Fighting champion David Branch sent a statement to the UFC middleweight division on Saturday night: Don’t count him out just yet.
Branch, who simultaneously held WSOF’s light heavyweight and middleweight belts, improved to 2-1 in his current UFC stint with a wicked knockout of Thiago Santos at UFC Atlantic City. The time of the stoppage was 2:30 of the opening round at Boardwalk Hall, as Branch rebounded from a loss to Luke Rockhold in his previous bout.
“We worked that overhand, went over the top and then underneath,” Branch said. “He was really hard to get to, so we had to be tricky.”
The matchup of heavy hitters was fought at a cautious pace over the opening two minutes, but once Branch found his opening, he wasted no time pouncing. Branch landed a wicked right hand to the jaw which dropped Santos, then landed a series of hammerfists to the downed Santos before the bout was waved off.
The New York City-based competitor improved to 22-4 with his 12th win in his past 13 bouts. Santos (11-5) had a four-fight win streak snapped.