In UFC history, two fighters – Randy Couture and BJ Penn – were able to claim titles on multiple weight classes.
Bellator MMA’s Joe Warren is the lone fighter to accomplish such a feat in that promotion.
While no one is proclaiming the World Series of Fighting roster to be on the same level as either of those, what David Branch has been able to accomplish in such a short time period is pretty amazing.
Branch will defend one of his two WSOF titles this evening at WSOF 30, taking on Clifford Starks in the middleweight division. He claimed the light heavyweight title this past September with a submission of Teddy Holder.
The 34-year-old Branch (17-3) recently signed a new contract with Ray Sefo and WSOF, meaning he will be the focal point – along with Justin Gaethje – for the foreseeable future. And, with New York on the cusp of legalizing MMA, the Bronx-born and Bronx-raised fighter could main event the first WSOF card in the state.
Branch trains out of Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, where he has earned his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Eleven of his 17 career wins have been by either knockout or submission, including each of his last four.
Inside the WSOF cage, he is a perfect 7-0, scoring wins over former UFC title contender Yushin Okami, kickboxing standout Dustin Jacoby and Paulo Filho. The last time Branch’s arm was not raised as the winner came in 2012 while fighting for Titan FC.
His opponent that night was none other than UFC light heavyweight title contender Anthony Johnson, as the two fought to a three-round decision that went in favor of “Rumble.”
After turning pro in 2007, Branch picked up six consecutive victories, including a 2010 submission on Derrick Mehmen, before falling via third round KO to Gerald Harris. He quickly won his next two before getting submitted by Rousimar Palhares.
Branch fought twice for Bellator, going 2-0 including the win over Mehmen, before signing with the UFC in 2010. There, he posted a 2-2 record, with the losses being to Palhares and Harris around decision wins over Rich Attonito and Tomasz Drwal.
So, while Branch might not have the same superstar level as previous multi-division champions before him, there is no reason to not tune in this evening to NBC Sports Network and see if he can remain a double-champion.