David Branch’s career as a professional mixed martial artist dates back to 2007. Prior to that, he competed in World Series of Fighting (WSOF), Bellator, and several independent MMA promotions before he entered the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in early 2017. A former two-division champion, Branch won the middleweight and light heavyweight championships during his time at the WSOF.
David Branch Biography
David was born on September 26, 1981, in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was raised by his mother alone and did not meet his father until he was grown up. He had a difficult childhood growing up in the Bronx, New York, and as a teenager, he had several run-ins with the law that resulted in long stays in juvenile detention centers. Branch received his high school education at the A. Philip Randolph Campus High School in Harlem, New York City. He eventually discarded his bad habits after he got a job as a construction worker.
At the age of 19, Branch had a life-changing experience after watching an old UFC videotape that sparked his interest in mixed martial arts and set a new course for his life. He dedicated his first years of martial arts training to karate before finally switching to Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He trained with Michael Casey for three years at Relson Gracie’s satellite school in the Bronx and then moved on to the Renzo Gracie Academy, owned by Renzo Gracie, an experienced Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner. Branch earned his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and also won several titles during his long time with Gracie.
David Branch turned pro in 2007 and had an impressive 3-0 record before joining the Bellator MMA promotion. In his Bellator debut, Branch defeated Dennis Olson at the Bellator 11 event in June 2009, and he also beat Derrick Mehmen at the Bellator 15 event in April 2010. The talented fighter joined the UFC in May 2010 under a 4-fight contract. Branch made his UFC debut at the UFC 116 event on July 3, 2010, and was defeated by Gerald Harris, the first defeat in his professional career. This was followed by a victory over Tomasz Drwal at UFC Fight Night 22 and another victory over Rich Attonito at The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale. In the last fight of his contract Branch was defeated by Rousimar Palhares in the UFC on Versus 3 event on March 3, 2011.
After his dismissal from the UFC in March 2011, David Branch continued to participate under various independent MMA promotions and recorded 2 wins and 1 defeat. In late 2012, he finally advanced to the World Series of Fighting (WSOF), and after winning his first two fights under promotion, he entered a four-man tournament to determine the organization’s first middleweight champion. Branch won the tournament, which was held in June 2014 to win the World Middleweight Championship. He successfully defended the title against 3 challengers and also won the WSOF Light Heavyweight Championship in September 2015, while holding the belts in both the Light Heavyweight and Middleweight divisions. He remained undefeated throughout his time at the WSOF and did not relinquish his title until 2017 when he transferred to the UFC.
David Branch returned to the UFC in February 2017 after an absence of nearly 6 years from the organization. In May 2017 he won against Krzysztof Jotko in UFC 211 in May 2017, followed by a defeat to Luke Rockhold in September 2017 in UFC Fight Night 116, and also in April 2018, he defeated Thiago Santos in UFC Fight Night 128, extending his record to 21 and 4 defeats.
Interestingly, David Branch is not the only member of his family with amazing athletic talents. His older brother, Sechew Powell, was also a professional boxer who won the 2001 United States Amateur Light Middleweight Championship and is also a former contender for the Junior Middleweight Boxing title. Another brother of his Jamelle Hamilton was also a professional boxer in his prime and a former New York Golden Glove champion. David Branch has at least 21 siblings on his father’s side.
David Branch has remained consistent in his career since his professional debut in 2007. He was one of the highest-paid fighters when he was signed up for the MMA sponsorship of the World Series of Fighting (WSOF). He also directs the David Branch Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Hoboken, New Jersey. His career earnings are estimated at well over $1 million, but his exact net worth remains to be confirmed.
Height and Weight
David Branch has an impressive height of 185 cm (6 feet 1 inch). He has a bodyweight of 84 kg (185 lb). He has an arm reach of 81 inches.