David Branch has been in the fight game for over a decade, winning multiple titles in mixed martial arts (MMA), which includes holding the Middleweight and Light Heavyweight title simultaneously for World Series of Fighting (WSOF).

This Saturday night (Sept. 16, 2017), however, Branch is facing perhaps the toughest and most experienced foe to date, as he will battle former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 185-pound champion Luke Rockhold in the main event of UFC Fight Night 116 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

And if Luke thinks he’s simply going to walk into the Octagon after a year-long layoff and impose his will on Branch, the former champ has another thing coming.

“He’s going to try and come out to establish his dominance. He’s going to try and run his alpha male shit on me and I’m going to shut that shit down, obviously,” said David during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour.

Breaking down Rockhold’s last appearance inside the cage, a knockout loss to Michael Bisping a year ago, Branch says Luke underestimated “The Count,” something he says is the difference between he and the former champion.

“I think that in that fight against Bisping the motherfucker slipped up. You can’t go out there and take anybody lightly,” said David. “That’s the thing with me, I come from a different background than Luke, and I don’t have that kind of indoctrination that he does. I come from the fucking streets and I don’t take anybody lightly.”

Street tough or not, Branch understands the threat Luke brings to the table, and he respects that. But come fight night, the former WSOF champ says he going to be very disrespectful to the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA)-trained fighter.

“He’s a tough opponent. I respect him enough to have trained for him the way I trained for him. And that’s the most respect that this motherfucker is going to get from me,” he explained.

“He’s not getting anymore respect. I already gave him enough respect by training the way I have. When I go in there, I am going to be very disrespectful to him.”

With a win over Rockhold, Branch says there is no reason why he shouldn’t be considered as the next title challenger.

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