WSOF 5 Bet: Danillo Villefort (+170) vs Dave Branch (-200)
Date: September 14, 2013
Arena: Revel Atlantic City
City: Atlantic City, New Jersey
Middleweight bout: Danillo Villefort (+170) vs Dave Branch (-200)
Fight Breakdown: The Co-Main Event for WSOF is a middleweight tournament match-up between former UFC fighters, when the Brazilian Danillo Villefort takes on the always tough Dave Branch. Villefort is currently the underdog at +170 ($100 to win $170), while Branch is the favorite at -200 ($200 to win $100) at 5Dimes Sportsbooks.
DANILLO VILLEFORT (14-4 MMA, 1-0 WSOF) is coming off a Split Decision win against another former UFC fighter in Kris "The Savage" McCray. With nearly half a year off, Villefort is eager to get back in the WSOF cage and fight his way towards the organizations inaugral middleweight championship title. He is very hungry and has his eyes set on the prize, though he is not overlooking Branch. He is aware of the task at hand. Villefort's biggest concern going into this bout will be the takedowns. His takedown defense is not good, at all, and Branch will almost surely be trying to take him down. It's rare for me to see poor takedown defense in a fighter who is supposed to possess a black belt in Judo. The 30 year old Brazilian trains out of the Blackzilians camp in Coconut Creek, FL. where he works with top wrestlers who have him working his takedown defense. That said, I don't think he will be able to stop Branch's takedowns. He owns a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, so he is no fish out of water when put on his back. With decent striking, a decent ground game, and good cardio, Villefort will be going into this bout ready for a fifteen minute war, but he will be looking for the stoppage.
DAVE BRANCH (12-3 MMA, 2-0 UFC) is coming into this bout riding a two fight win streak, both wins in the WSOF promotion. He is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Renzo Gracie, though he does not usually go for many submission attempts. Only three of his thirteen career victories have been by way of tapout. Branch seems to be more interested in smothering and outpointing opponents than he does in finishing them. That goes for on the feet, as well, as he tries to outstrike and score takedowns, rather than look for the knockout. That said, I think he will be looking to finish Danillo Villefort. He wants to make a statement as he moves on to fight for WSOF's middleweight gold. Branch works great takedowns and has a decent top game. He generally has good submission defense, though that did not stop him from tapping to a Rousimar Palhares kneebar, which resulted in his release from the UFC organization. The Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu team member has great conditioning and will be ready to go hard for three full rounds. I believe he will have somewhat of a cardio advantage going into this bout, not to mention a two and a half inch reach advantage.
Fight Prediction: Both fighters will be looking to finish one another to make a statement, but I don't see this fight playing out that way. I see it going the distance and I think Branch will use his jab and takedowns to earn himself a Unanimous Decision and secure a spot in the finals for the promotion's middleweight title.
Gabe's Pick: Dave Branch by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Gabe's Recommended Play: Dave Branch -200