Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight veterans Krzysztof Jotko and David Branch threw down last night (May 13, 2017) at UFC 211 inside the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
The middle of the pack at Middleweight is a large grouping, filled with men who never seem to progress, always coming up short in key moments. Jotko is a major exception, as the 27-year-old bounced back from a 2014 loss to put five straight wins together and ascend into the Top 10. His opponent was David Branch, who at one point was one of those middling Middleweights. After his release from UFC, however, Branch went on a tear in World Series of Fighting (WSOF), simultaneously capturing both the 185- and 205-pound straps.
Jotko opened up the fight by establishing his range and walking Branch down, but Branch countered brilliantly with a beautifully timed double leg takedown. From full guard, Branch controlled his opponent for a couple minutes before Jotko eventually escaped along the fence.
Jotko reversed with a brief takedown and then jammed his opponent into the fence. Branch turned him around once again, controlling his opponent along the cage until the end of the round.
It wasn’t amazing, but Branch clearly took the opening round.
Jotko increased the pace in the second, still maintaining his range very well. He wasn’t able to land anything devastating, but Jotko landed the better shots and made his opponent miss more often than not.
Branch scored a much-needed takedown at the midway point of the round, but Jotko sprung up immediately and went back to work. For the rest of the round, Jotko dodged takedown attempts and landed small strikes.
Neither man scored all that much ten minutes in, and it was likely tied heading into the final frame.
Branch found some success with his boxing to open the third round, scoring with long jabs and rights to the body. Before long, however, the fight moved into the clinch, where neither man was really able to take advantage.
Once again, Branch scored a nice takedown, but Jotko returned to his feet before anything eventful could happen. Jotko turned it up just a bit in the final 30 seconds, but he never came particularly close to hurting his foe.
It was an uneventful end to an uneventful fight. Ultimately, the split decision went to David Branch.
One of the most significant factors of the fight was cage control. In a fight where nothing really happened, Branch was able to edge out the fight — on two scorecards at least — simply by pushing his foe around and controlling position.
Wall-n-Stall for the win!
Additionally, Branch did a nice job of pushing in the final round. Both men were tired, but Branch was able to win portions of the round just by staying busy, trying to stick an active jab in his opponent’s face. Boring or no, Branch reintroduces himself to the UFC with a top-10 win. His next opponent should be someone along the lines of Derek Brunson, which could push him into the title mix.
As for Jotko, he came up just short in an ugly fight, which is pretty much the worst-case scenario. Had he pushed forward a little harder, perhaps that wouldn’t be the case. He’s still a top fighter, but it’s hard to build any momentum following a dreadful showing. Hopefully, Jotko can return to the cage quickly and erase this fight from public memory.
Last night, David Branch scored a close decision victory in his return to the Octagon. Who should he face next?
For complete UFC 211: “Miocic vs. dos Santos 2” results and play-by-play, click HERE!
Source:: mma mania