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UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs Branch Betting Odds and Preview

Luke Rockhold makes his return to the Octagon after a 15-month layoff when he faces David Branch in Pittsburgh this Saturday. Rockhold looks to get back into title contention after being upset by Michael Bisping last time around. On the flip side, Branch is looking to prove he is one of the elite at middleweight after his time outside the UFC.

The rest of the card features some interesting matchups. We have a couple of grappler vs grappler contests (Martin vs Aubin-Mercier/Saggo vs Burns), as well as some intriguing striking matchups (Lombard vs Smith/Jotko vs Hall).

Luke Rockhold vs David Branch

Luke Rockhold (-550) is a phenomenal fighter in every aspect of the game. The San Jose native holds a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and picked up eight career victories via submission. However, his kicking-based offense has become the real catalyst to his game plan. Rockhold looks to keep distance and throw kicks from every direction but also has devastating counters when an opponent tries to close the space.

If the fight does get to the inside, Rockhold is excellent at clinch fighting. He is massive for the weight class and uses his height well to leverage opponents against the cage. The former champ doesn’t use his wrestling offensively too much but is exceptional in terms of defensive and counter wrestling.

David Branch (+375) has been a criminally underrated fighter for several years – mostly because casual fans were not tuning in to WSOF. He is a grinder, as he looks to use his physicality to suffocate his opponent on the fence or the ground. He has a black belt in BJJ under Renzo Gracie, which he will use, but won’t put himself in a bad position to chase submissions.

In the standup game, Branch has some decent power in his hands but you don’t get much of a glimpse of that. The Brooklyn native tends to be relatively low output outside of his stellar jab and some solid kicking. This offense is more there out of necessity and is a complement to try to close space.

This could be a physical, grueling battle. Both men tend to use their physicality to dominate opponents in the clinch but neither will have a big advantage in that aspect. The biggest difference is in distance striking, as Rockhold is far superior to Branch in that area. But if Branch can get inside, this will be interesting.

Hector Lombard vs Anthony SMith

Violent KO artists clash when struggling veteran Hector Lombard (+110) and Anthony Smith (-140) meet in the Octagon. Lombard is still athletic and powerful despite his years of wear on the tires. It’s not pretty, but he throws every strike with terrifying power. The former Olympian in judo has a fantastic clinch game, as his trips and throws are almost unstoppable when he really goes after them. The issue for Lombard is his cardio. His gas tank holds up for five minutes – maybe.

Smith is absolutely massive for the division, standing six-foot-four with a 76-inch reach. It ultimately ends up being a double-edged sword, as it gives him a big advantage in the striking game but also leaves him open to being taken down. If “Lionheart” can keep his space and work behind the jab, he can really get going. But if his opponent can get inside, it is not hard to bring him to the mat.

UFC Fight Night 116: Rockhold vs Branch Betting Odds
  • Luke Rockhold -550
  • David Branch +375
Odds as of September 16 at Bovada
  • Mike Perry -550
  • Alex Reyes +375
  • Hector Lombard +110
  • Anthony Smith -140
  • Conor Gillespie -450
  • Jason Gonzalez +325
  • Kamaru Usman -750
  • Sergio Moraes +475
  • Justin Ledet -450
  • Zu Anyanwu +325
  • Tony Martin EVEN
  • Olivier Aubin-Mercier -130
  • Anthony Hamilton -200
  • Daniel Spitz +160
  • Krzysztof Jotko -225
  • Uriah Hall +175
  • Jason Saggo +120
  • Gilbert Burns -150