Since joining the World Series of Fighting in 2012, David Branch has gone from being a fighter to a contender to champion.
Two wins to start of his WSOF career earned Branch a berth in the company’s middleweight world championship tournament, and two wins later; including a submission victory over Jesse Taylor in the finals in July; he now carries the promotion’s 185-pound title.
“It means a lot to me from where I came from, just being a young man to becoming a world champion,” Branch told MMAWeekly.com. “It was a really good feeling.
“We knew (Taylor) was going to come in and shoot like that, so my plan was to bang him up and put him on his back. People have never really seen it, but I have really good wrestling, so I was able to scramble and put him on his back and when he tried to get up and that’s when I finished him.”
Branch admits it took a bit for him to fully realize the position he finds himself in now as a defending champion, but once it did, it’s become a source of motivation for him.
“It took me a few weeks for it to finally sink in that I was world champion, but after sinking in, it shows in my confidence, my learning curve with new things in the gym and will show on Nov. 15 when I go to retain my title and stay world champion,” said Branch.
On Saturday in Tampa, Fla., Branch (14-3) will make his first title defense against former UFC title contender Yushin Okami (30-8) in the main event of WSOF 15.
“I have to go out there and not fight him afraid and not fight him like his last opponent did,” said Branch of Okami. “I’m going to be in his face and we’re going to scrap.
“I’m going to look to beat him in all positions, surprise him with a lot of dynamic movement and be on top of him the whole fight.”
While he’s worked his way towards becoming a champion, Branch feels there’s still more to accomplish, starting with his bout on Nov. 15 against Okami.
“I do have goals like wanting to be the number one fighter in the world,” he said. “That’s the nature of the beast, that’s what everyone’s going for.
“I’m in very unique position that I am a champion but I’m still climbing up the rankings. Getting this victory would be good for my career politically-wise, confidence-wise and it puts me in a really good spot now.”