UFC 230, which marks the UFC’s return to New York City, has its first fight.Officials today confirmed a previously rumored fight between David Branch (22-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC) and Ronaldo Souza (25-6 MMA, 8-3 UFC) for the November card (via Twitter):
Our first bout for MSG is set! @JacareMMA takes on @DavidcBranchMMA when the Octagon returns to @TheGarden on Nov. 3! #UFC230 pic.twitter.com/rgNftAflet— UFC (@ufc) July 23, 2018
UFC 230 takes place Nov. 3 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been finalized.Souza is No. 7 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, and Branch is one spot behind, at No. 8.Branch recently rebounded from a submission loss to ex-champ Luke Rockhold, which snapped an 11-fight winning streak, with a first-round knockout win over Thiago “Marreta” Santos at UFC Fight Night 128 in April. The 36-year-old former two-division WSOF champion is now 2-1 since returning to the UFC for a second stint.He now meets “Jacare,” who suffered a split-decision defeat to Kelvin Gastelum in his most recent bout, which followed a 3-1 run in the UFC. That May loss earned Souza a “Fight of the Night” bonus the 38-year-old Brazilian vet and former Strikeforce champ’s sixth fight-night bonus in 11 UFC fights.For more on UFC 230, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.