22 March 2017 | 1:58 pm
Former WSOF two-division champion David Branch’s return to the UFC now is official.
Branch (20-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC), will make his UFC return after more than six years away in a middleweight fight against Krzysztof Jotko (19-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) at UFC 211 in May. UFC officials recently made a formal announcement of the fight, confirming previous reports.
UFC 211 takes place May 13 at American Airlines Center in Dallas. The main card, including a heavyweight title fight in the main event and women’s strawweight title fight in the co-feature, airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
In February, Branch announced he had become a free agent and vacated his WSOF middleweight and light heavyweight titles. Not long after that, it was announced he had, as was expected, re-signed with the UFC, where he fought four times in 2010-11.
After three fights away from the UFC, he signed with WSOF for that promotion’s inaugural event. He went on to win the WSOF middleweight tournament to become the first 185-pound champ. He defended that belt against Yushin Okami with a TKO at WSOF 15.
Then he entered the light heavyweight tourney and captured that inaugural belt, as well. After that, he had three title defenses in 2016 with a decision win over Clifford Starks for the middleweight belt, a decision win over Vinny Magalhaes for the 205-pound belt, and at WSOF 34 in December, a fifth-round rear-naked choke win over Louis Taylor for the middleweight strap.
Jotko has won five straight fights since suffering the lone loss of his MMA career, a submission setback to Magnus Cedenblad nearly three years ago. Since then, he has decision wins over Tor Troeng, Scott Askham, Brad Scott and, most recently, Thales Leites in November. This past June, he knocked out Tamdan McCrory in 59 seconds to win a “Performance of the Night” bonus at UFC Fight Night 89.
The latest UFC 211 card now includes:
- Champ Stipe Miocic vs. Junior Dos Santos – for heavyweight title
- Champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Jessica Andrade – for strawweight title
- Frankie Edgar vs. Yair Rodriguez
- Demian Maia vs. Jorge Masvidal
- Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier
- Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
- Marco Polo Reyes vs. James Vick
- Jason Knight vs. Chas Skelly
- Enrique Barzola vs. Gabriel Benitez
- David Branch vs. Krzysztof Jotko
- Jarjis Danho vs. Dmitry Poberezhets
For more on UFC 211, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.