David Branch (fighter)

David Branch (born September 26, 1981) is an American mixed martial artist currently competing in the Middleweight division. A professional competitor since 2007, he has fought for the UFC, World Series of Fighting, Bellator, Shark Fights, and Titan FC. Branch is the former WSOF Light Heavyweight Champion and WSOF Middleweight Champion.

David Branch
Born (1981-09-26) September 26, 1981 (age 38)
Charlotte, North Carolina, United States[1]
Other namesThe Executive
Height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight186 lb (84 kg; 13.3 st)
DivisionLight Heavyweight
Reach78 in (198 cm)[2]
Fighting out ofBrooklyn, New York, United States
TeamRenzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
Church Street Boxing
RankBlack belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Renzo Gracie[3]
Years active2007–present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout6
By submission7
By decision9
By knockout3
By submission3
By decision1
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog


Raised in the Bronx, New York, Branch trained in Karate for two and a half years before transitioning into Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He graduated from A. Philip Randolph Campus High School in New York, New York.[4] Branch trained for three years with Michael Casey (black belt under Relson Gracie) in the Bronx, NY before he began training under the tutelage of MMA veteran, Renzo Gracie at his personal training center, and further developing his striking with Jason Strout (his first Head Coach) at Church Street Boxing Gym. Branch gained his black belt after learning from Gracie for about ten years. In addition to mixed martial arts, Branch has also competed in (and won) Brazilian jiu-jitsu titles in nationwide competitions.[5]

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Branch turned professional in MMA in 2007 and compiled an overall professional record of 3-0 before being signed by Bellator.


Branch then signed for Bellator and made his promotional debut at Bellator 11 against Dennis Olson. Branch was victorious due to submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:27 of the first round.

Branch then competed in the UCC organization and defeated John Troyer via TKO (punches) at 4:26 of the second round.

Branch returned to Bellator at Bellator 15 and defeated Derrick Mehmen via submission (rear-naked choke) at 0:26 of the second round.

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

In May 2010, Branch's coach Renzo Gracie announced that Branch had signed a four-fight contract with the UFC.[6] Branch made his debut on the undercard of UFC 116 against Gerald Harris. Branch was knocked out cold with a slam in the third round, losing for the first time in his professional career.[7]

Branch was expected to face Aaron Simpson on September 15, 2010 at UFC Fight Night 22, but Simpson was forced to pull out of the bout with a staph infection.[8] Branch instead fought Tomasz Drwal.[9] Branch won the fight via unanimous decision, earning his first UFC victory.

Branch next defeated Rich Attonito at The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck Finale via unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, and 30–27).[10]

Branch was rumored to face Dan Miller on March 19, 2011 at UFC 128.[11] However, according to Dan's manager, the fight was not offered. Miller ended up facing a different opponent.

Branch next faced Rousimar Palhares on March 3, 2011 at UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampmann, replacing Alexandre Ferreira.[12] Branch was defeated by Palhares when he tapped out to a kneebar early in the second round[13] and was subsequently released from the promotion.[14]

Independent promotionsEdit

Following his release from the UFC Branch signed to fight Jeremy May at Shark Fights 15: Villaseñor vs Camozzi. He won via TKO in the third round.

Branch next faced of against Strikeforce vet Dominique Steele at Pure MMA: The Beginning. He won via unanimous decision.

In his next fight Branch took on former UFC vet Anthony Johnson at Titan Fighting Championships 22.[15] The bout was originally supposed to be fought at 185lbs, but both fighters came in overweight and the bout was changed to 195 lb catchweight fight. He lost via unanimous decision.[16]

World Series of FightingEdit

In Branch's next fight he took on another former UFC vet Dustin Jacoby at the inaugural World Series of Fighting 1. He won via unanimous decision.[17]

Branch next faced off against PRIDE legend Paulo Filho at World Series of Fighting 2. He won via unanimous decision.[18]

On May 16, 2013, WSOF announced a four-man tournament to crown an Inaugural Middleweight Champion. Branch will be one of the four men entering this tournament. Joining Branch will be former UFC vet Jesse Taylor, current MFC Middleweight Champion Elvis Mutapcic, and former UFC vet Danillo Villefort.[19] Branch took on Danillo Villefort in the open round of the tournament at WSOF 5.[20] He won the fight via unanimous decision.

In the Middleweight Tournament Final, Branch faced Jesse Taylor at World Series of Fighting 10 on June 21, 2014. He won the fight via D'arce choke submission in the first round to become the inaugural World Series of Fighting Middleweight champion.

In his first title defense, Branch faced fellow UFC veteran Yushin Okami at WSOF 15 on October 24, 2014.[21] He won the fight via technical knockout in the fourth round.

On March 5, 2015, it was announced that a semifinal fight of the WSOF Light Heavyweight Championship Tournament between Matt Hamill and Vinny Magalhães was canceled and then changed to a fight between WSOF Middleweight Championship David Branch and Ronny Markes for the second semifinal fight of the WSOF Light Heavyweight Championship tournament at the WSOF 20 on April 10, 2015.[22] However, on the day of the weigh-in, Markes was forced out of the bout due to dehydration and was replaced by promotional newcomer Jesse McElligott.[23] He won the fight via technical submission in the second round.

Branch defended the WSOF Light Heavyweight Championship against Vinny Magalhães at WSOF 33 on October 7, 2016 in the main event.[24] He won the fight via unanimous decision.

Return to Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

On February 15, 2017, Branch announced that he had re-signed with the UFC and expects to be scheduled to compete in the middleweight division for the promotion by May.[25]

Branch faced Krzysztof Jotko in his return to the UFC on May 13, 2017, at UFC 211.[26] He won the fight via split decision.[27]

Branch faced former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold at UFC Fight Night 116 on September 16, 2017.[28] Despite winning the first round, he lost the fight by a tap out due to strikes with 55 seconds remaining in the second round.[29]

Branch was scheduled to face Yoel Romero on February 24, 2018 at UFC on Fox 28.[30] However, on January 12, 2018, it was announced that Robert Whittaker was pulled from the middleweight title championship at UFC 221 and replaced by Romero.

Branch faced Thiago Santos on April 21, 2018 at UFC Fight Night 128.[31] He won the fight via knockout in round one.[32] This win earned him the Performance of the Night bonus.[33]

Branch was expected to face Ronaldo Souza on November 3, 2018 at UFC 230.[34] However on October 19, 2018 It was reported that Souza replaced injured Luke Rockhold who was scheduled to fight Chris Weidman in the event. [35] It was reported on October 19, 2018 that Jared Cannonier faced Branch instead.[36] He lost the fight via technical knockout in round two, marking the first time he's been stopped due to strikes.[37]

Branch faced Jack Hermansson on March 30, 2019 at UFC on ESPN 2.[38] He lost the fight via guillotine choke in the first round.[39]

Branch was scheduled to face Andrew Sanchez on September 14, 2019 at UFC on ESPN+ 16.[40] However, it was reported that Branch was forced to pull from the event due to injury and he was replaced by Marvin Vettori.[41]

USADA violation and release from the UFCEdit

In September 2019, it was revealed that Branch received a 2 year USADA suspension. He tested positive for Ipamorelin, a class of Peptide hormones and Growth Factors, detected in a urine sample he provided out-of-competition on May 24, 2019. Sanction was made retroactive to July 26, 2019 and he is eligible to fight again in North America on July 26, 2021.[42] Subsequently, Branch was officially released from the UFC on September 18, 2019.[43]

Post-UFC careerEdit

After the release from the UFC, Branch faced Alexander Shlemenko at Russian Cagefighting Championship 7 on December 14, 2019.[44] He lost the fight via a guillotine choke submission in the first round.

Personal lifeEdit

Branch is the brother of professional boxers, Sechew Powell and Jamelle Hamilton.[45]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
29 matches 22 wins 7 losses
By knockout 6 3
By submission 7 3
By decision 9 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 22–7 Alexander Shlemenko Submission (guillotine choke) Russian Cagefighting Championship 7 December 14, 2019 1 4:58 Yekaterinburg, Russia
Loss 22–6 Jack Hermansson Submission (guillotine choke) UFC on ESPN: Barboza vs. Gaethje March 30, 2019 1 0:49 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Loss 22–5 Jared Cannonier TKO (punches) UFC 230 November 3, 2018 2 0:39 New York City, New York, United States
Win 22–4 Thiago Santos KO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Lee April 21, 2018 1 2:30 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Performance of the Night.
Loss 21–4 Luke Rockhold TKO (submission to punches) UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch September 16, 2017 2 4:05 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 21–3 Krzysztof Jotko Decision (split) UFC 211 May 13, 2017 3 5:00 Dallas, Texas, United States
Win 20–3 Louis Taylor Submission (rear-naked choke) WSOF 34 December 31, 2016 5 2:00 New York City, New York, United States Return to Middleweight; defended the WSOF Middleweight Championship.
Win 19–3 Vinny Magalhães Decision (unanimous) WSOF 33 October 7, 2016 5 5:00 Kansas City, Missouri, United States Defended the WSOF Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 18–3 Clifford Starks Decision (unanimous) WSOF 30 April 2, 2016 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the WSOF Middleweight Championship.
Win 17–3 Teddy Holder Submission (rear-naked choke) WSOF 23 September 18, 2015 1 2:21 Phoenix, Arizona, United States Won the inaugural WSOF Light Heavyweight Championship. WSOF Light Heavyweight Championship Tournament Final.
Win 16–3 Jesse McElligott Technical Submission (Von Flue choke) WSOF 20 April 10, 2015 2 1:28 Mashantucket, Connecticut, United States Light Heavyweight debut; WSOF Light Heavyweight Championship Tournament Semifinal.
Win 15–3 Yushin Okami TKO (punches) WSOF 15 November 15, 2014 4 3:39 Tampa, Florida, United States Defended the WSOF Middleweight Championship.
Win 14–3 Jesse Taylor Submission (D'Arce choke) WSOF 10 June 21, 2014 1 1:41 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won the inaugural WSOF Middleweight Championship. WSOF Middleweight Championship Tournament Final.
Win 13–3 Danillo Villefort Decision (unanimous) WSOF 5 September 14, 2013 3 5:00 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States WSOF Middleweight Championship Tournament Semifinal.
Win 12–3 Paulo Filho Decision (unanimous) WSOF 2 March 23, 2013 3 5:00 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 11–3 Dustin Jacoby Decision (unanimous) WSOF 1 November 3, 2012 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 10–3 Anthony Johnson Decision (unanimous) Titan FC 22 May 25, 2012 3 5:00 Kansas City, Kansas, United States Catchweight (195 lbs) bout; both fighters missed weight.
Win 10–2 Dominique Steele Decision (unanimous) Pure MMA: The Beginning January 22, 2012 3 5:00 Plains, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 9–2 Jeremy May TKO (punches) Shark Fights 15: Villaseñor vs Camozzi May 27, 2011 3 3:19 Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States
Loss 8–2 Rousimar Palhares Submission (kneebar) UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampmann March 3, 2011 2 1:44 Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Win 8–1 Rich Attonito Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck Finale December 4, 2010 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 7–1 Tomasz Drwal Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Marquardt vs. Palhares September 15, 2010 3 5:00 Austin, Texas, United States
Loss 6–1 Gerald Harris KO (slam) UFC 116 July 3, 2010 3 2:35 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 6–0 Derrick Mehmen Submission (rear-naked choke) Bellator 15 April 22, 2010 2 0:26 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States Catchweight (190 lbs) bout.
Win 5–0 John Troyer TKO (punches) UCC 1: Merciless March 19, 2010 2 4:26 Jersey City, New Jersey, United States
Win 4–0 Dennis Olson Submission (rear-naked choke) Bellator 11 June 12, 2009 1 2:27 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States
Win 3–0 Robby Huston Submission (rear-naked choke) DCF: Battle at the Nation's Capital December 13, 2008 2 2:41 Washington D.C., United States
Win 2–0 Alex Aquino TKO (doctor stoppage) Ring of Combat 19 May 9, 2008 1 3:29 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 1–0 Craig Simone TKO (punches) Cage Fights 6 September 29, 2007 1 1:44 Fort Myers, Florida, United States



  1. ^ https://www.tapology.com/fightcenter/fighters/dave-branch
  2. ^ "David Branch | UFC". www.ufc.com. Retrieved 2019-04-21.
  3. ^ "David Branch - Official UFC Fighter Profile". UFC.com. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  4. ^ https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011116144940&sk=about
  5. ^ http://lastwordonsports.com/2014/10/06/david-branch-ready-to-take-out-okami/
  6. ^ "Renzo Gracie: UFC signs Bellator middleweight David Branch to four-fight deal". MMAjunkie.com. 2010-05-22. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
  7. ^ "UFC 116 preliminary card recap: Brendan Schaub, Gerald Harris dazzle in KO wins". mmajunkie.com. July 4, 2010.
  8. ^ "Aaron Simpson hospitalized after surgery". mmaweekly.com. August 6, 2010.
  9. ^ "Tomasz Drwal vs. David Branch expected at UFC Fight Night 22". mmajunkie.com. August 9, 2010.
  10. ^ "David Branch vs. Rich Attonito set for The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2010-10-30.
  11. ^ "Dan Miller vs. David Branch in the works for UFC 128". TrueFighting.com.com. 2010-12-30. Archived from the original on 2011-08-31. Retrieved 2010-12-30.
  12. ^ "David Branch Replaces Ferreira, Faces Palhares At UFC on Versus 3". heavy.com. January 19, 2011.
  13. ^ https://www.sbnation.com/mma/2011/3/3/2028359/ufc-on-versus-3-results-rousimar-palhares-kneebars-dave-branch
  14. ^ "Middleweight David Branch Latest Fighter Released by the UFC". mmaweekly.com. March 23, 2011.
  15. ^ Damon Martin (March 23, 2012). "Anthony Johnson vs. David Branch Set as Main Event for Titan Fighting 22". MMAWeekly.com.
  16. ^ Dann Stupp (May 26, 2012). "Anthony Johnson tops David Branch in Titan Fighting 22 headliner". MMAJunkie.com.
  17. ^ "WSOF 1 - Arlovski vs. Cole Results". Sherdog.com. November 3, 2012.
  18. ^ "WSOF 2 - Arlovski vs. Johnson Results". Sherdog.com. March 23, 2013.
  19. ^ MMAjunkie.com Staff (May 16, 2013). "WSOF sets four-man middleweight tourney with Taylor, Mutapcic, Branch, Villefort". MMAJunkie.com.
  20. ^ "World Series of Fighting 5 to host opening round of middleweight tournament".
  21. ^ "David Branch defends middleweight belt vs. Yushin Okami at WSOF 15". mmajunkie.com. July 29, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  22. ^ "David Branch and Ronny Markes Light Heavyweight Tilt to Headline WSOF 20".
  23. ^ MMAjunkie Staff (2015-04-09). "Ronny Markes out of WSOF 20 headliner; Dave Branch now meets Jesse McElligott". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  24. ^ "Shawn Jordan's WSOF debut plus two other bouts round out WSOF 33".
  25. ^ Ariel Helwani (2017-02-15). "David Branch signs with UFC". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  26. ^ Ariel Helwani (2017-03-07). "David Branch vs. Krzysztof Jotko targeted for UFC 211". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2017-03-07.
  27. ^ Steven Marrocco (2017-05-13). "UFC 211 results: Ex-WSOF double champ David Branch takes split from Krzysztof Jotko in return". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  28. ^ Mike Bohn (2017-07-22). "Ex-champ Luke Rockhold returns vs. David Branch in September's UFC Fight Night 116 headliner". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2017-07-23.
  29. ^ "UFC Fight Night 116 Results: Luke Rockhold forces David Branch to tapout | BJPenn.com". | BJPenn.com. 2017-09-16. Retrieved 2017-09-17.
  30. ^ "Yoel Romero vs. David Branch on tap for UFC on FOX 28". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  31. ^ "Thiago Santos to fight David Branch at UFC Atlantic City". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  32. ^ "UFC Fight Night 128 results: David Branch gets big KO win over Thiago 'Marreta' Santos". MMAjunkie. 2018-04-22. Retrieved 2018-04-22.
  33. ^ a b "UFC Fight Night 128 bonuses: That wacky Simon-Dvalishvili bout was 'Fight of Night'". MMAjunkie. 2018-04-22. Retrieved 2018-04-22.
  34. ^ Ariel Helwani (2018-07-19). "Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza to fight David Branch at UFC 230". espn.com. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  35. ^ "Jacare Souza to fill in for Luke Rockhold vs Chris Weidman at UFC 230 | BJPenn.com". | BJPenn.com. 2018-10-20. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  36. ^ "With 'Jacare' shifted to co-main event, David Branch gets Jared Cannonier at UFC 230". MMAjunkie. 2018-10-20. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  37. ^ "UFC 230 results: New-look Jared Cannonier upsets David Branch with ferocious finish". MMAmania.com. Retrieved 2018-11-04.
  38. ^ "David Branch vs. Jack Hermansson booked for UFC on ESPN 2 in Philadelphia". MMAjunkie. 2019-02-10. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  39. ^ "UFC Philadelphia: Jack Hermansson taps David Branch with ease in first". MMA Junkie. 2019-03-31. Retrieved 2019-03-31.
  40. ^ "David Branch vs. Andrew Sanchez set for ESPN+ 16". MMA Junkie. 2019-06-13. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  41. ^ DNA, MMA. "David Branch haakt geblesseerd af voor gevecht tegen Andrew Sanchez tijdens UFC Vancouver". Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  42. ^ "In wake of USADA suspension, UFC releases David Branch from contract". mmafighting.com. 2019-09-18. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  43. ^ Marrocco, Steven (2019-09-19). "In wake of USADA suspension, UFC releases David Branch from contract". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2019-09-20.
  44. ^ Farah Hannoun (December 4, 2019). "David Branch to face Alexander Shlemenko at RCC 7 on Dec. 14". mmajunkie.com.
  45. ^ "Straight Outta Brownsville - Introducing David Branch". UFC.com. June 29, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  46. ^ Sherdog.com. "David Branch MMA Stats, Pictures, News, Videos, Biography - Sherdog.com". Sherdog. Retrieved 2019-09-18.

External linksEdit