UFC Fight Night: Rockhold wins in return; knockouts aplenty in Pittsburgh


UFC Fight Night: Rockhold wins in return; knockouts aplenty in Pittsburgh

Rockhold obviously has some unfinished business with Bisping considering they are tied at one win apiece against each other, but it's not likely St-Pierre is going to bow out to hand him the fight.

The former UFC middleweight champion defeated David Branch by TKO on Saturday night at UFC Fight Night in Pittsburgh.

"I'm coming for that belt": Luke Rockhold.

Luke Rockhold is back, but his fight with David Branch wasn't easy. It was Rockhold's first victory since he defeated Chris Weidman at UFC 194 in December 2015 to claim the belt. "I felt if I got my bearings in the second round I would take control no matter where it goes". Branch employed heavy pressure, did all he could to capitalize - FightMetric showed him outlanding the favorite by a 36-19 margin in the first round - and seemed to have the Californian reeling with a flurry of power punches inside the first five minutes. Branch tried to defend, but in that position had little answer for the punches raining down on him.

Branch landed several hard, stinging shots that rattled Rockhold momentarily before the fighters got locked in the clinch against the cage. Rockhold, meanwhile, continued to mix up kicks, with leg kicks and a jumping front face kick late in the round.

"He's the true champion right now", Rockhold said of Whittaker.

Should GSP not make the walk to fight the champion, Rockhold will undoubtedly be ready to step in as a replacement, especially considering interim champion Robert Whittaker will be out with an injury. "Don't embarrass yourself GSP".

UFC welterweight Mike Perry dominated Alex Reyes, knocking out his opponent by a brutal knee to the head midway through the first round. A late takedown from Rockhold to close out the round saw the momentum shift, and also gave everyone an indication what was to come next. Perry was originally scheduled to fight Thiago Alves, who backed out of the fight due to travel concerns related to Hurricane Irma.

"I worked my butt off for this", Perry said.