David Branch’s career as a professional mixed martial artist dates back to 2007. He previously competed under the World Series of Fighting (WSOF), Bellator and several independent MMA promotions before joining the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in early 2017. A former two-division champion, Branch won the Middleweight Championship and the Light Heavyweight Championship during his stint with the WSOF.
David Branch Biography
David was born on September 26, 1981, in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was raised single-handedly by his mother and he did not meet his father till he became an adult. He had a rough childhood growing up in the Bronx, New York and as a teenager, he had several run-ins with the law which earned him lengthy spells in juvenile detention centres. Branch had his high school education at A. Philip Randolph Campus High School in Harlem, New York City. He eventually kicked his bad habits after getting a job as a construction worker.
At age 19, Branch had a life-transforming experience after watching a vintage UFC videotape which sparked his interest in mixed martial arts and charted a new course for his life. He dedicated his first few years of martial arts training to karate before eventually switching to Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He trained with Michael Casey for 3 years at Relson Gracie’s satellite school in the Bronx after which he moved to the Renzo Gracie Academy, owned by veteran Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner Renzo Gracie. Branch earned his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and also won several titles during his long stint with Gracie.
David Branch turned professional in 2007 and he compiled an impressive 3-0 record before joining Bellator MMA promotion. In his Bellator debut, Branch defeated Dennis Olson at the Bellator 11 event held in June 2009. He also recorded a win over Derrick Mehmen at Bellator 15 which was held in April 2010. The talented fighter joined the UFC on a 4-fight deal in May 2010. Branch marked his UFC debut at the UFC 116 event of July 3, 2010, and was defeated by Gerald Harris, the first defeat of his professional career. This was followed by a win over Tomasz Drwal at UFC Fight Night 22 and another win over Rich Attonito at The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale. In the last fight of his contract, Branch was defeated by Rousimar Palhares on March 3, 2011, at the UFC on Versus 3 event.
Following his release from the UFC in March 2011, David Branch continued to compete under different independent MMA promotions recording 2 wins and 1 loss. He eventually joined the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) promotion in late 2012 and after winning his first 2 bouts under the promotion, he competed in a four-man tournament to determine the inaugural Middleweight Champion of the organization. Branch won the tournament which was held in June 2014 to become the World Series of Fighting Middleweight champion. He successfully defended the title against 3 challengers and he equally won the WSOF Light Heavyweight Championship in September 2015 thereby simultaneously holding the Light Heavyweight & Middleweight belts. He remained unbeaten throughout his stint with the WSOF and only vacated his titles in 2017 when he switched to UFC.
David Branch rejoined the UFC in February 2017 after nearly 6 years away from the organization. He recorded a win over Krzysztof Jotko at UFC 211 held in May 2017 and this was followed by a loss to Luke Rockhold in September 2017 at the UFC Fight Night 116 event. He equally defeated Thiago Santos in April 2018 at UFC Fight Night 128 extending his record to 21 and 4 losses.
Interestingly, David Branch is not the only member of his family with amazing sports talents. His older brother Sechew Powell was also a professional boxer who won the United States amateur light middleweight championship in 2001 and is also a former junior middleweight boxing contender. Another brother of his Jamelle Hamilton was equally a professional boxer in his prime and a former New York Golden Gloves champion. David Branch has at least 21 siblings on his father’s side.
David Branch has remained consistent in his career since making his professional debut in 2007. He was one of the highest-paid fighters while he was signed to the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) MMA promotion. He equally heads the David Branch Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Hoboken, New Jersey. His career earnings are valued to be well over a million dollars, however, his exact net worth is yet to be confirmed.
Height and Weight
David Branch has an impressive height of 6 feet 1 inch (185 cm). He maintains a body weight of 84 kg (185 lb). He has an arm reach of 81 inches.