Luke Rockhold seeks to bounce back from losing the UFC MW title by facing former WSOF champion David Branch
Former UFC lightweight champion Luke Rockhold looks to get back in the UFC’s title picture as he takes on former WSOF champion David Branch. UFC Fight Night 116, a.k.a. UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch, takes place September 16th at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburg, PA with one prelim webstreamed at UFC Fight Pass, four prelims and the six-fight main card broadcast on Fox Sports 1.
15-3 Luke Rockhold is coming off his rematch loss to Michael Bisping that cost him the UFC belt in his first title defense. Rockhold took the belt from Chris Weidman by TKO in Decemb er 2015 in a fight that improved his win streak to five in a row which included a guillotine choke of Bisping in November 2014. While Rockhold has a firm grip on the #3 ranking despite not fighting in fifteen months Davis Branch vaulted to the #9 ranking after one UFC fight. Branch won the WSOF title in June 2014 with by submitting Jesse Taylor then defended it against Clifford Starks and Louis Taylor. Between middleweight fights Branch also took the light heavyweight title by submitting Teddy Holder and defended it against Vinny Magalhaes. Since Rockhold’s last fight Branch picked up the wins over Magalaes and Taylor then won is UFC debut with a split decision over #10 ranked Krzystof Jotko.
The co-main event is a battle of unranked welterweights as Mike Perry takes on Alex Reyes. 13-2 Perry is 3-1 in the UFC with his sole loss being a unanimous decision against Alan Jouban in December while his follow-up fight in April was a KO of Jake Ellenberger. 13-2 Reyes is making his UFC debut on a thirteen-fight win streak with his only fight in the past two years being a TKO of Gil Guardado in August.
Two regional standouts are also on this card, the first being former ROC champion Gregor Gillespie who faces Jason Gonzalez. Gillespie is still undefeated at 9-0 with a win over George Sheppard for the ROC regional title, defenses against Jose Marsical and Sidney Outlaw, then wins in the UFC over Glaico Franca and Andrew Holbrook. Gonzlaez is 11-3 with is only loss in the past eight fights or four years being his UFC debut against Drew Dober, his follow-up fight being a win over J.C. Cottrell.
The other regional standout appearing on this card is former CFFC champion Azunna “Zu” Anyanwu who replaces Dmitriy Sosnovskiy by fighting Justin Ledet. 13-4 Anyanwu left CFFC the heavyweight champion with his last defense of the belt being a TKO of Shawn Teed in February while is big break came with a win over CES MMA’s Greg Rebello on DWTNCS in July. Ledet is undefeated at 8-0 with wins in the Octagon over Jonathan Sherman and Mark Godbeer.
Prelims on Fox Sports 1
- BW: Luke Sanders vs. Felipe Arantes
- MW: Krzystof Jotko vs. Uriah Hall
- HW: Anthony Hamilton vs. Daniel Spitz
- LW: Tony Martin vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier
Prelims on Fox Sports 1
- HW: Justin Ledet vs. Zu Anyanwu
- WW: Kamaru Usman vs. Sergio Moraes
- LW: Gregor Gillespie vs. Jason Gonzalez
- MW: Hector Lombard vs. Anthony Smith
- WW: Mike Perry vs. Alex Reyes
- MW: Luke Rockhold vs. David Branch