David Branch vs. Danillo Villefort -- Middleweight Tournament bout
R1: Branch starts off with an outside low kick and shoots a takedown but Villefort backpedals and fends it off with an underhook and a cross-face. Branch lands rights to the body from the 50/50 clinch but is a tad positionally focused and the ref separates them. Lunging left hook from Villefort just misses. Branch tags him behind the ear with a spearing straight right. More leaping lefts from Villefort, who reacts as if his eye was poked but the ref doesn't step in and Branch pounces. Branch oddly ends up holding him back against the fence which gives Villefort ample time to recover.
Branch gets a little busier with Villefort on the fence and mounts legit offense in the form of knees, dirty boxing and karate chops to the thigh (it happens). Villefort nearly hits a counter-whizzer throw but Branch stabilizes and changes levels to secure a double of his own at the bell. 10-9 Branch.
R2: Villefort comes out busier with punches but slows a bit after Branch almost catches a kick and turns it into a takedown. Branch uncorks a wiry high kick that Villefort blocks with a thud. Branch explodes for a double and gets it, scooting Villefort's head back against the cage. Open guard from Villefort while Branch throws short shots with his head planted in Villefort's chest.
Villefort tries to keep his hips busy but Branch is just basing down too hard and controlling him, wisely pestering with punches in safe intervals. Villefort explodes into action to create space, angles for an armbar that Branch stifles and then smoothly chains it together with a leg lock attempt. Nice transitions from Villefort but Branch stuffs them all and stays on top. 10-9 Branch.
R3: Branch jabs and meets Villefort's level to thwart a half-hearted takedown attempt. Villefort turns up the heat with strikes but his leaping knee is caught and converted into a Branch takedown, who drags him right back to the fence to limit his movement. Bold but potentially fatal choice by Villefort there. Villefort initiates another scramble and Branch ends up on his back with both hooks in.
They hand-fight for a second and then Branch positions himself for a pass to full mount as Villefort endeavors to spin out. They hang in the balance and Branch settles for a high half guard as Villefort slips him out of back control. Villefort leans over for a loose kimura and is able to recompose full guard when Branch defends. 10-9 Branch for a clean sweep on my card.