2-division WSOF champ David Branch relinquishes both belts, free agent
Just days after World Series of Fighting bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes relinquished his title and announced free agency, so did the organization’s two-division champion, David Branch.
Branch held both the WSOF middleweight and light heavyweight titles simultaneously. Yesterday during an appearance on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, things would change.
“I’m definitely a free agent now, I’m officially a free agent. I’m going to be looking to explore my opportunities on the outside of WSOF. And I think it was about time for me and the company to just split ways. There was some misunderstandings that happened, and as a result of those misunderstandings it was best for me to be released and stuff like that. Plus I just want to do other things.
“I think one of the big things that people — people and the media, and to myself, you know I’m 35 years old right now and at the end of this whole fighting career, and I’m a two-division champion and all that — but people will always say, ‘well he didn’t do it in the UFC.’ Well you know, here’s the deal. I’m a free agent now. People have been saying for years that I’m the best fighter on the outside of the UFC. I disagree. I believe that I’m the best fighter in the world. And I think that now is my opportunity to be able to prove that.”
WSOF president Ray Sefo confirmed to MMA Fighting on Monday that Branch is indeed a free agent, saying, “It’s true David is a free agent, and I wish him the very best.”
Asked what the “misunderstanding” was between him and the WSOF — particularly since Branch had been sending out tweets to suggest some dissension in the ranks — Branch was reluctant to provide details.
“It was just one of those things where, sometimes it’s just time for you to go, you know what I mean,” he said. “I had all the cues, all the signs that were there for me to light the fire and get up and do what I have to do. I’m not going to stay anywhere I’m not comfortable, and I think it was just time for me to up and leave, to just relinquish my belts here on your show today. It’s a big thing, that’s what I’m doing.
“I’m no longer middleweight champion, or light heavyweight champion for World Series of Fighting, I’m relinquishing the belts today. That is official. And I want to give the opportunity for some more new and young talent to go into the World Series of Fighting, and I hope that they do well. And I hope that they have some really colorful champions, you know?”
Branch said he hadn’t inked a deal with the UFC yet, but that’s the direction he’s looking at.
“I haven’t signed with them yet, I haven’t signed with anybody,” he said. “My manager is working on some things, and we should have some announcements by the middle of this week, before this week is out for sure.”