David Branch has become one of the faces of the WSOF during his time inside the Decagon. He’s enjoyed quite a successful run since joining the WSOF’s ranks, chief among them being one of a handful of fighters to earn titles in two weight classes at the same time. Before Branch steps into the Decagon at WSOFNYC, get to know a little more about the man not only defending his title, but also defending his home turf inside the famed Madison Square Garden.
Becoming a two-weight world champion was never the main goal
Branch’s crowning achievement has certainly been his ability to not only claim two championship titles but also defend his belts against the top in both divisions. Yet, histroical triumph wasn’t always the main goal for the Bronx native historical triumph. “It wasn’t like it was something I had as my big career goal… if you tell me I can’t do something, that’s when I get most determined to do it.”
His grappling prowess is elite
The former UFC veteran is well known for his technical approach to fighting, which extends to his amazing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He began practicing the art at 22 with Relson Gracie and went on to train with the legendary Renzo Gracie in 2004. He received his black belt under Renzo and is currently a 1st degree BJJ black belt.
His love for combat sports has manifested into a business
Just this past fall Branch pushed his potential even further by opening up “David Branch Jiu-Jitsu” in New York City. The facility plays host to several martial arts including striking, wrestling and of course, BJJ. It is open to all levels and is just another extension of Branch’s legacy.
He’s Competed in Many of the Top MMA Promotions.
Branch is well known in the MMA community for competing at the top level for many years, including stints in Bellator and the UFC. However, Branch has found his groove with the WSOF as he’s compiled a perfect 9-0 record inside the Decagon.
He has a weathered past
Branch has openly spoken about struggling with poverty while growing up and having a poor upbringing. He is also not afraid to embrace the fact that before finally committing to fighting he had spent time in jail and even dealt drugs. He’s made an amazing turn around since then en route to becoming the successful and decorated champion he is today.
Fighting is in the family
The two-weight world champion may have a lot of history to draw upon when it comes to being tough and durable, but he also has family linage in it as well. Branch is the sibling to two professional boxers; Sechew Powell and Jamelle Hamilton.
He is among some prestigious companions at the top…
As we know, Branch is the first and only two-weight world champion WSOF has ever seen. But before superstar Conor McGregor became a two-weight world champion in early November, Branch was the highest-profile dual weight-class champ since Dan Henderson held two titles simultaneously in PRIDE.
He doesn’t plan a long stay at light heavyweight
Branch understands that the 205 division is not his natural weight class and that holding a title there presents significantly disadvantageous risks. Therefore, the natural middleweight doesn’t plan to rein the division too long. Although he’s already successfully defended the division’s title once while defending the 185-belt twice.
He’s no stranger to constant innovation
The 34-year-old’s desire to stay unpredictable and innovative in fighting has been a clear in his ascendant career. This camp in particular Branch was open about his use of Ballet stating in an Instagram post, “Always innovating and thinking outside the box I’m dedicating more effort into ballet! #Dimitri is a high level hard core Russian instructor that does not take kindly to mistakes everything must be perfect!”
Branch has been here from the start
It’s fitting that one of the original members of the WSOF promotion has reached historic heights in the past two years. Branch first fought for the promotion at WSOF1 when he beat Dustin Jacoby via unanimous decision back in 2012. Nine fights later he sits on top of the world.