This marquee match-up between Chicago’s own Louis “Put The Guns Down” Taylor and hometown two-weight world champion David Branch was heavily dictated by Branch from the start. The New Yorker pushed the pace of the round with a variety of selected shots and a powerful takedown in the middle of the canvas.
Taylor recovered quickly, got back to his feet and the two traded once again before Branch secured another takedown, claimed the back of Taylor and worked for a vicious rear-naked choke with his high level BJJ game. Much of the final moments of the first were Taylor looking to survive before the echo of the bell.
In the second, the #1 middleweight contender forced Branch up against the cage but the two-weight world champion defended any danger bringing them back into the center. Much of the second saw Taylor with a successful grind against the cage, but every time the two disengaged the technical shots of Branch put Taylor in danger. On the feet, the movement of Branch made a major difference in the significance of the Chicago native’s shots.
But it was early in the third round where Branch found himself locked into a guillotine attempt off a takedown by his opponent. Were it not for his composure he may not have escaped considering how deep the choke was. Upon releasing, Branch climbed on the back of Taylor, slipped his arm through and worked rigorously to flatten him out. The round closed with another guillotine attempt by Taylor without success and both men on their feet with their energy significantly fading.