Just when it looked like David Branch might be in for a long night eating leg kicks from Thiago “Marreta” Santos, Branch shut things down in a hurry.
Branch (22-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC) stopped Santos (17-6 MMA, 9-5 UFC) midway through the first round with a massive right hand to the jaw and a few follow-ups on the canvas. The former two-division WSOF champion avoided the first losing skid of his career with the upset win.
The middleweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 128 event at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
Santos kicked up the middle, then tried the lead leg. In a brief exchange, Santos landed a left hook. But Branch stayed patient and looked for an opening. Santos worked a punch combination, then kept kicking Branch’s lead leg.
But the patience for Branch paid off in a big way. He moved in and threw a huge overhand right. It landed flush on Santos’ chin and dropped him to the canvas. Branch went to the mat with him immediately and landed four big hammerfists to close the deal before Gary Copeland could jump in to stop it.
Branch got back in the win column after having his 11-fight winning streak snapped this past fall. Santos had a four-fight winning streak snapped.