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Breaking Down Luke Rockhold-David Branch At UFC Fight Night 116

During a recent episode of “UFC Tonight,” co-hosts Daniel Cormier and Kenny Florian talked about the main event between Luke Rockhold and David Branch.

Rockhold is fighting for the first time since losing the middleweight title to Michael Bisping, while Branch is on an 11-fight win streak.

Daniel Cormier and Kenny Florian offered up their thoughts on Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 116 main event:

Cormier on Luke Rockhold’s strengths against David Branch: “I believe Luke Rockhold the best middleweight in the world. But he has to fight at range, use his length and his kicks. He lost against Bisping because he was too close. He’s a phenomenal athlete. You don’t realize until you’re in there with him. He’s big and powerful. If Branch isn’t careful, he can take him out in specular fashion.”

Florian on Branch’s advantages against Rockhold: “I think Luke is big, but David is just as big. He takes little damage in there. He knows how to fight a southpaw and fought one in his last fight. He knows how big this fight is. He’s riding high on confidence with his current win streak.”

Cormier on Branch’s experience: “Branch’s last loss was against Anthony Johnson, and that went to a decision. So if people are saying he doesn’t deserve it, that’s not the case. Remember the last time Luke fought someone lower than him in the ratings and what happened?”

Cormier picks Rockhold over Branch in two rounds: “In this fight he has all his weapons. He can kick, he can grapple. I know David Branch is a phenomenal grappler, but I think he’ll struggle with the size of Luke Rockhold and his athleticism. David is a little slow fighting Luke and he’s a conventional fighter, so the left body kick will dig into the side of David. We’ve seen Luke finish people with that and put people in trouble. I have Rockhold in two.”

Florian on how Rockhold beats Branch: “I think David can roll with Rockhold, especially with the submission game. He might throw in a leg lock. He could surprise him. However, it’s going to be a close fight and goes the distance. Rockhold has a tough fight, but wins by a close decision.”