A second WSOF title holder has left the company this year, as two division champion David Branch has elected to test the waters of free agency.
Branch (20-3), who held both WSOF’s middleweight and light-heavyweight championships, took to Twitter to announce his departure.
— David Branch (@DavidcBranchMMA) February 4, 2017
Branch joins former WSOF bantamweight Champion Marlon Moraes in departing the company this year. Moraes (18-4-1), last fought on WSOF’s New Years Eve card, and has already stated his intentions of fighting current UFC bantamweight champion Cody Gardbrandt.
The 35-year-old has competed for WSOF since its inception in 2012, and enjoyed a 10-0 run within the company. Here, he enjoyed notable wins over Yushin Okami, Clifford Starks and Vinny Magalhaes.
Now a free agent, a return to either the UFC or Bellator could be on the cards for the Bronx, New York native. Branch went 2-2 with the UFC from 2010-2011, with wins against Tomasz Drwal and Rich Attonito sandwiched by losses against Gerald Harris and Rousimar Palhares. Unfortunately, Branch’s UFC run is best remembered for the huge slam-KO loss he suffered in the Harris fight.
Prior to his UFC spell, he enjoyed a 2-0 run in Bellator, who have since established talent deep middleweight and light-heavyweight divisions. Wherever he ends up, there will be no shortage of interesting fights for a competitor that will likely find himself facing ranked opponents from the get go.
Speaking on The MMA Hour, Branch cited the UFC as his likely destination, but it’ll be interesting to see whether or not they are willing to pay him anything resembling that which he earned at WSOF. With a further announcement expected later this week, watch this space.