After his previous opponent Thiago Silva got moved to a rematch with Matt Hamill at a separate event, Ronny Markes was in dire need of an opponent, and he got one in the form of current World Series of Fighting middleweight champion; David Branch!
WSOF president Ray Sefo confirmed the news with MMAFighting.com on Wednesday.
Branch (15-3) is a veteran of WSOF, going 5-0 in the promotion and fighting on their inaugural show. His last loss came in 2012 to Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson by way of decision in a catchweight bout at 195 lbs. His first three wins in the WSOF cage came by way of decision over Dustin Jacoby, Paulo Filho and Danillo Villefort. Since then, in his first two main events with the promotion, he has stopped Jesse Taylor and former UFC title challenger Yushin Okami. The latter being for the inaugural middleweight belt.
Markes (15-3) was cut from the UFC in early 2014 following back-to-back stoppage losses to Yoel Romero and Thiago Santos. Following his release he was signed to World Series of Fighting and made his debut in August of 2014, defeating Cully Butterfield via unanimous decision in the co-main event of WSOF 12.
This fight will be the main event of WSOF 20 and will be one of the light heavyweight tournament semi-finals. The other, Thiago Silva vs. Matt Hamill II will be the co-main event of WSOF 19 which happens two weeks before-hand. The winners of each bout will meet to determine the inaugural light heavyweight champion at a later date.
WSOF 20 is set to take place on April 20 at Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut.