UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch will air on September 16, 2017, in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
#3 LUKE ROCKHOLD (15-3-0) vs. #9 DAVID BRANCH (21-3-0)
This is a five-round main event in the middleweight division. Rockhold brings kickboxing, Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling giving him knockout power with grappling control leading him to a near perfect finish rate as well as the former middleweight champion of Strikeforce and UFC. Branch brings striking, karate, and jiu-jitsu giving him knockout power with grappling control and cardio. Both fighters bring a great combination of techniques into this fight, but base on who is more well-rounded Rockhold will most likely take this fight with ease with his Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu that he will surely use to destroy Branch and prove to everyone why he is still the best in the middleweight division. The only hope Branch really has in this fight is to pull a Michael Bisping on Rockhold by catching him with a clean hook to the chin that stuns him pretty good to where he can take advantage and finish the former champ in a clean fashion. Though Rockhold is not a man to make the same mistake twice so he will be keeping his distance and defense up while laying pressure on Branch. My prediction: Rockhold wins via submission in Round 1.
MIKE “PLATINUM” PERRY (10-1-0) vs. ALEX “THE EXECUTIONER” REYES (12-2-0)
This is a three-round co-main event in the welterweight division. Perry brings boxing, Muay Thai, and jiu-jitsu giving him knockout power with some grappling control leading him to a perfect finish rate of all his wins coming via knockout. Reyes brings boxing and jiu-jitsu giving him knockout power and grappling control. In this fight are two fighters with different levels of experience in the sport and in that case, Reyes would probably take this fight from his boxing and jiu-jitsu combinations as he seems to be much more well-rounded than Perry. But Perry is a newcomer who has been on a roll and has proven to be a powerful striker from his boxing and Muay Thai for which Reyes does not seem to be as powerful in either of those two. Even Perry’s jiu-jitsu has shown great use and could prove to be much more than Reyes can handle with his own. My prediction: Perry wins via knockout in Round 1.
HECTOR “SHOWEATHER” LOMBARD (34-7-1, 2 NC) vs. ANTHONY “LIONHEART” SMITH (27-12-0)
This is a three-round fight in the middleweight division. Lombard brings boxing, kickboxing, Savate, judo, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling giving him knockout power with grappling control leading him to become the former Bellator Middleweight Champion. Smith brings striking and jiu-jitsu giving him knockout power and grappling control. Now, Lombard has a great combination of striking and grappling, but ever since testing positive for steroids back in 2015 he just has not been the same and with that in mind Smith will probably take this fight with his striking power and proving that steroids get you nowhere. Unless Lombard can somehow put Smith away real quick then this fight looks to be another loss waiting to happen and possibly ending his career with the UFC. My prediction: Smith wins via knockout in Round 2.
GREGOR “THE GIFT” GILLESPIE (9-0-0) vs. JASON “NICOYA” GONZALEZ (11-3-0)
This is a three-round fight in the lightweight division. Gillespie brings striking, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling giving him knockout power and grappling control leading him to a perfect record. Gonzalez brings boxing, Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu giving him knockout power with grappling control. With this fight containing two great strikers this fight will surely be a brawl and based upon each fighters techniques Gillespie looks to have more accurate striking along with a more well-round ground game that he will surely use to try and wear down Gonzalez. Gonzalez does have great boxing and Muay Thai on the other hand and if he could possibly pressure Gillespie and catch him off guard then he could just walk away with a surprise attack. Though he must find a great defense strategy in order to keep the fight standing or he will find himself on his back fighting for his life. My prediction: Gillespie wins via TKO in Round 2.
#13 KAMARU “NIGERIAN NIGHTMARE” USMAN (10-1-0) vs. SERGIO “THE PANTHER” MORAES (12-2-1)
This is a three-round fight in the welterweight division. Usman brings striking, jiu-jitsu and wrestling giving him knockout power with grappling control and cardio. Moraes brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu giving him knockout power with efficient grappling control and cardio. With both fighters bringing their own combinations the outcome will be decided on who is more efficient with them and with that being said Usman looks to be the one taking this fight all from his striking and jiu-jitsu combinations for which appear much cleaner than Moraes’. Moraes does have great Muay Thai so if he were to keep the fight standing and corner Usman then he could very well walk away with the knockout victory. But Usman’s jiu-jitsu and wrestling might prove too much for him and Usman will for sure being trying to bring the fight to the ground and keep it there where Moraes will be not as dangerous. My prediction: Usman wins via unanimous decision.
JUSTIN “EL BLANCO” LEDET (8-0-0, 1 NC) vs. ZU “8TH WONDER” ANYANWU (14-4-0)
This is a three-round fight in the heavyweight division. Ledet brings boxing and jiu-jitsu giving him knockout power and grappling control. Anyanwu brings boxing and jiu-jitsu giving him knockout power and grappling control leading him to a perfect record. Now, this fight contains two undefeated heavy hitters and based on who is more efficient Ledet looks to be the one taking this fight from his heavy hands that are indeed his deadliest weapon. For Anyanwu to stand a chance would be to try to pressure Ledet by keeping him close to the cage where he could unleash of few of his own strikes, but Ledet is no man to let his opponent have the advantage and if he keeps coming at Anyanwu then this fight might not last long. My prediction: Ledet wins via TKO in Round 1.