Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold made his return to the Octagon last night (Sat., Sept. 16, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 116 live on FOX Sports 1 from inside PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pa., when he took on rising title contender David Branch. Despite early struggles, Rockhold made good on his comeback fight by finishing Branch via second-round submission (punches).

Branch was able to land a powerful barrage of punches in the first few minutes of the bout, but Rockhold’s leg kicks and ground game were too much for the former World Series of Fighting (WSOF) champion. After taking Branch’s back following a takedown in Round 2, Rockhold scored punches in bunches before earning the well-deserved stoppage.

Check out the memorable finish above courtesy of UFC.

With this win, Rockhold immediately reenters the mix at 185 pounds. He most certainly showed some signs of rust in the early going, but ultimately channeled his former championship self to overpower Branch, make him pay from top position, and find a finish that will put him on the short list of title contenders.

For complete UFC Fight Night 116 results and coverage click here.