On today's MMA Hour, a little-known fighter named David Branch announced he was going to relinquish his two World Series of Fighting belts and become a free agent. This announcement had many in the media buzzing about the potential destination for Branch... but who exactly is he?
Branch was the WSOF light heavyweight AND middleweight champion (champ champ) until he announced that he had decided to leave the promotion for greener pastures.
WSOF later confirmed the news with MMA Junkie.
Branch has an impressive 20-3 record with wins in Bellator and the UFC and he hasn't lost a fight since he faced Anthony Johnson in Titan FC back in 2012. With his impressive record and skill he could easily add the much needed depth to both the UFC and Bellator middleweight or light heavyweight divisions.
Although Branch didn't elaborate on the reason for leaving the promotion other than the lack of opportunity, it's apparent that he had issues within the organization based on his tweets following the announcement.
"It’s time for me to have bigger challenges for myself," he said on the MMA Hour. "There are no more challenges left for me with WSOF. I’ve just accomplished everything that there is for me to do there. It just comes time for an athlete to move on, and I think that this is my time right now.”
Branch defended his middleweight title on WSOF's biggest card to date when it hosted a New Years Eve show in New York City. The promotion has been rumored to be going out of business for months although nothing official has been announced.
Branch not only held two belts for WSOF, but he defended both as well (unlike some other champ champs). He has alternated back and forth between divisions since obtaining the light heavyweight title in 2015. He has won 10 of his last 10 fights under the WSOF banner.
With Ryan Bader headed to Bellator, Branch could be a solid edition to the suddenly thin 205 division for the UFC, or the perpetually thin light heavyweight of Bellator, that just lost Tito Ortiz.