David Branch’s return to the Octagon proved to be largely uneventful tonight at UFC 211, but nonetheless, he emerged with a split decision victory over Krzyzstof Jotko.

Round One:

Branch comes out with a couple of kicks to start. Branch also looking for a few rangey punches, but Jotko is keeping just out of range.

Branch ducks in for a takedown and Jotko tries to time a knee to the head, but isn’t successful and is put on his back in the center of the Octagon.

Branch working some early ground and pound here from in Jotko’s guard. Jotko trying to scramble to the cage and then uses that to stand back up, though Branch is still on him.

Branch with a few knees. Jotko able to reverse the position against the cage momentarily, but then Branch takes control again, pressing Jotko into the cage.

Jotko suddenly able to to land a takedown of his own, though Branch is quickly back to his feet and soon after is back to pressing Jotko into the cage in the final minute.

Not too much happening here, though Branch does try for a single leg, then abandons it and keeps pressuring Jotko in the clinch.

Round Two

A few kicks from range unleashed from Branch. Jotko initiates the clinch and presses Branch into the cage. Spinning backfist from Jotko as he opts to back away from the position.

Accidental knee to the groin from Branch forces a quick stoppage. A couple of punches for Jotko. As Branch comes forward Jotko nicely times a punch. Soon after he lands another that knocks Branch slightly off-balance.

Branch with a jab and Jotko lands a counter immediately afterwards. Jotko has found his range now, but just then Branch lands another takedown. However, this time Jotko pops straight back up to his feet.

Jab for Branch. Left hand lands for Jotko. Branch with a body punch and then into the clinch. Branch with a couple of knees as Jotko gestures to the ref to separate them. Surprisingly the ref almost immediately agrees and pulls them apart. Branch should have had a little more time to work there.

Wheel kick from Jotko partially lands upstairs. Branch retaliates with an immediate takedown, but Jotko sands right back up.

Fake knee and then a punch behind it from Jotko. They clinch just as the round comes to a conclusion.

Round Three:

Body kick for Branch. He tries a spinning kick that was telegraphed and misses. Branch does land a leg kick as Jotko tries to let his hands go.

Body punch for Branch. Right hook for Jotko just clips his opponent. Body kick for Branch. Branch tries to close the distance for a takedown, but it’s stuffed.

They get into the clinch and Branch works to the cage. Jotko reverses briefly and they both jockey for position there as the crowd begins to boo loudly.

Branch back in control from this clinch position, but the ref separates them. Nice left hand snaps Jotko’s head back. Branch with a big takedown with less than two minutes to go in the fight.

Branch not able to do much before Jotko manages to work his way back to his feet. Branch back into the clinch, the crowd boos, the ref quickly breaks them up.

Big knee to the body for Jotko and then a right hand lands upstairs. Kick to the upper body for Jotko. Jab for Branch. Uppercut from Jotko lands solidly as he steps up the pace, but Branch clinches up to run down the final seconds of the fight.

Decision:

Lackluster fight here, but nonetheless, Branch was the busier of the two and he emerges with a split decision victory (29-28 x2, 28-29).

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