Photo by WSOF/Lucas Noonan
Middleweight (For WSOF Championship)
Who Are These Guys?:
Fans who have watched The Ultimate Fighter will likely remember Jesse Taylor. Taylor was a participant on season 7, and actually earned his way to the tournament finals by beating Dante Rivera, Tim Credeur and Mike Dolce (yes, that Mike Dolce).
He was ejected from the UFC, however, after going on a drunken rampage through a hotel, and would be replaced in the finals by CB Dollaway (who, in turn, would lose to Amir Sadollah). He was brought back for one fight at UFC Fight Night 8, losing to Dollaway by first-round submission, and has been a fairly successful journeyman ever since.
David Branch, too, is a fighter some fans may remember for his time with the UFC. A hard-nosed grinder, he was released with a 2-2 record, dropping fights to future WSOF comrades Rousimar Palhares and Gerald Harris while sandwiching in wins over Rich Attonito and Tomaz Drwal.
He has been a staple fighter for WSOF, fighting three times and taking wins over Dustin Jacoby, Paulo Filho and Danillo Villefort.
Will It Be Good?:
Eh...you never know. In most ways, this is a grinder vs. grinder fight, and those can go a few different ways. One of the two might end up wildly getting the better of the other, a la Jon Fitch vs. Demian Maia. It's also possible they will put their grinding aside for the fight and come out swinging, a la Dong-Hyun Kim vs. John Hathaway. Of course, the most likely result will be a battle of dueling clinches.
The fact that this will be a five-round title fight with Branch having no experience in fighting past the 15-minute mark could make this an ugly affair.
How Will It Go?:
It's a tough call that ultimately boils down to asking who is more likely to score takedowns. In that way, you have to take Jesse Taylor winning by decision and becoming WSOF's first middleweight champion.