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‘Jacare’ to fight David Branch at UFC 230

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

David Branch is getting his wish after all.

The former World Series of Fighting two-division champion will face off with fellow middleweight contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at UFC 230 on Nov. 3 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Sources confirmed the bout with MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz and Shaun Al-Shatti following an initial report by ESPN.

Branch (22-4) has been effusive in his desire to match up with “Jacare”, recently telling MMA Fighting’s Marc Raimondi that he would “go to the friggin’ moon” to fight the longtime UFC and Strikeforcee standout. Unfortunately, Souza’s camp did not appear to share this sentiment.

This is the first fight that has been confirmed (though not officially announced) for the upcoming New York show.

Since returning the UFC last May, Branch has alternated wins and losses, sandwiching a submission loss to Luke Rockhold with victories over Thiago Santos and Krzysztof Jotko. Prior to that, the 36-year-old Brooklyn resident competed 10 times for the WSOF promotion, winning all of those contests and capturing titles in the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions.

“Jacare” is coming off of a split decision loss to Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 224 this past May. He has won three of his last five fights, finishing Derek Brunson, Tim Boetsch, and Vitor Belfort, all in the first round. Souza, 38, is 8-3 in the UFC and 25-6 (1 NC) overall as a professional.

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