Last night, the UFC returned to our screens with an exciting night of fights from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In the main event of the evening, former two-division World Series of Fighting champ David Branch faced arguably the starkest test of his career in former Strikeforce and UFC middleweight king Luke Rockhold.
Though Branch started strong in this fight, Rockhold turned up the heat in the second round, grounding his foe, flattening him out, and pouring on the ground-and-pound. Shortly thereafter, Branch opted to tap out to the onslaught of strikes he was receiving– something we don’t see very often in MMA.
In the wake of this disappointing loss, a classy David Branch chatted with MMAJunkie about the fight, and explained why he decided to tap out to Rockhold’s strikes.
“I just got caught in a position that I couldn’t escape,” he said. “I tried to take the punishment as much as I could. I got busted up a little bit. And I just decided to save the fight for another day and just come back stronger. I took as much punishment as I could, you know? I didn’t just give up. Eventually it came [to that] but I took a lot of knocks before that happened.”
“I will be back,” he continued when asked about his future. “I will return. I came to the UFC to be the champion, and I’m not going to let anything deter me. I’ve had these falls before. I know how to deal with these things. I’ve come back from adversity before, and I’m going to do it again. I learned a lot. I think not losing in almost six years, perhaps victory defeated me. Just getting comfortable, and losing a bit of that fear of losing again. Now I have it again, the same way he had it, and when I come back out there again I’m going to be real hungry.”
What do you think of David Branch’s performance against Luke Rockhold?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 9/17/2017.