David Branch will fight at UFC 230. However, it won’t be against the ranked competition he desired. Instead, it will be against a divisional newcomer.
With Brach’s (22-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC) originally scheduled opponent Ronaldo Souza shifted to the co-main event against Chris Weidman, the former two-division WSOF champ will now meet Jared Cannonier (10-4 MMA, 3-4 UFC) in a middleweight bout.
MMAjunkie verified the change with a person close to the situation following a report from ESPN.com. The person requested anonymity because the UFC has yet to make an official announcement.
UFC 230 takes place Nov. 3 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
Branch, No. 8 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, was attempting to make a big jump in the divisional pecking order at UFC 230 following a first-round knockout of Thiago “Marreta” Santos at UFC Fight Night 128 in April. Unfortunately for Branch, when Luke Rockhold withdrew from the co-main event against Weidman, Souza was promoted to replace him.
Now Branch will have to defend his spot against Cannonier, who after a 1-3 slump in the light heavyweight division has decided to drop to 185 pounds. “The Killa Gorilla” was scheduled to fight Alessio Di Chirico at UFC Fight Night 140 on Nov. 17, but instead will compete two weeks earlier in the matchup with Branch.
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
- Champ Daniel Cormier vs. Derrick Lewis – for heavyweight title
- Ronaldo Souza vs. Chris Weidman
- David Branch vs. Jared Cannonier
- Jack Marshman vs. Karl Roberson
- Israel Adesanya vs. Derek Brunson
PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)
- Jason Knight vs. Jordan Rinaldi
- Sijara Eubanks vs. Roxanne Modafferi
- Julio Arce vs. Sheymon Moraes
- Lyman Good vs. Ben Saunders
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET)
- Matt Frevola vs. Lando Vannata
- Shane Burgos vs. Kurt Holobaugh
- Montel Jackson vs. Brian Kelleher
- Ruslan Magomedov vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima
- 'Jacare' Souza steps in for Luke Rockhold vs. Chris Weidman at UFC 230
- Daniel Cormier: Khabib Nurmagomedov 'would get beat up for 12 rounds' by Floyd Mayweather
- Nate Diaz going 'back out on tour' after UFC 230 scratch; Dustin Poirier rips 'fake ass gangster'
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: With 'Jacare' shifted to co-main event, David Branch gets Jared Cannonier at UFC 230