While he defeated former top-ranked middleweight Paulo Filho in his last fight, former UFC fighter David Branch believes he could have done better and intends to do so in his return to the World Series of Fighting on Saturday night.
“I think I performed well (against Filho), but I don’t think I stepped on the gas as much as I know I can,” said Branch. “That’s what I’m going to be doing this Saturday. My cardio is as good as it has been. I’m not going to get tired and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t go out there and give the crowd what they want.
“They want to see a finish and I’m going to deliver it to them.”
In a way, Branch’s defeat of Filho was something of a passing of the torch.
“Paulo’s somebody that I looked up to and had all the respect for in the world,” said Branch. “It’s the nature of the beast though; I was the up-and-coming fighter and it was my time to shine.”
Branch’s reward for his win was a spot in the WSOF four-man middleweight tournament to crown its first 185-pound champion.
On Saturday night, Branch (12-3) will face Danillo Villefort (14-4), a fighter who is also coming off a win in his last WSOF bout.
“I have to put a lot of pressure on (Villefort) and keep the pace nice and high,” Branch told MMAWeekly.com.
“I’m already a thinking fighter. I’m very athletic. So I’m going to go out there and push the pace and break him physically and mentally and put him away. I don’t want him to make it (the distance).”
With a possible match in the finals at stake, Branch was asked if he has to be aware of avoiding possible injuries against Villefort. He replied, “I’m not going to do anything to put myself at risk, but I’m going to be hitting on all cylinders.
“I’m not worried about holding anything back, that’s not what I do. I won’t even look at that fight for another month and a half, to be honest.”
That being said, it’s all or nothing for Branch in the remainder of this tournament.
“When they put it together, I said to myself that I was going to be the champ,” he said. “I’m not going to accept anything else.”