The stage was set for the main event of UFC Fight Night 116.
Luke Rockhold got the best of David Branch submitting the fighter with strikes in night's main event, but not to be outdone, the undercard fighters combined for three knockouts including Mike Perry's ruthless knee against Alex Reyes.
David Branch put in a spirited performance against Luke Rockhold, but the former UFC champion beat the spirit right out of him..
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The middleweights started fast, Branch throwing punches and Rockhold returning fire with kicks before they clinched against the fence for a brief spell. The overhand right was a threat from David Branch as he looked to tag Rockhold. A late takedown from Rockhold to close out the round saw the momentum shift, and also gave everyone an indication what was to come next.
He relentlessly hammered Branch with vicious ground and pound until he was left a broken man. Branch eventually tapped giving Rockhold the submission victory via strikes in the second round.
In the second, Branch kept the pressure up, while Rockhold combated his attack by chopping at his lead leg. Branch then pressed Rockhold back against the cage, tying him up. From there the former UFC champ went to work landing multiple right-hand blows to side of Branch's face. He was able to take Branch down and moved to mount. He couldn't get much action going and Branch easily took round one.