Dave Branch to defend Middleweight crown against Yushin Okami at WSOF 15

Japan’s Yushin Okami returns for a second outing under the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) banner later this year against Dave Branch, in an intriguing tilt for the 185-lb gold.

WSOF announced the bout during a conference call ahead of WSOF 12, which takes place this weekend at Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

President Ray Sefo said the match-up is scheduled for October 24th, though a venue has yet to be named by the promotion.

Yushin Okami (30-8) has long been regarded as one of the best fighters on the planet in the Middleweight division. So when axed by the UFC many fans were left stunned.

Okami, 33, signed with WSOF late 2013 and debuted earlier this year. The former title contender went up against Bulgarian-born Svetlozar Savov, who also made his promotional debut. Yushin Okami stopped his foe in the second round via Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) to mark a first stoppage since a TKO victory over Buddy Roberts in 2012.

The fighter dubbed ‘Thunder’ now turns his attention to a second opportunity at Championship gold when paired against upcoming opponent Dave Branch this fall.

Dave Branch (14-3) like his opponent is also a UFC veteran. And since his release back in 2011 following a loss to Rousimar Palhares, Branch has went on a run of 5-1 and is currently 4-0 in his new home at WSOF.

Branch, 32, was last seen serving as the main event against Jesse Taylor for the vacant Middleweight belt. The Renzo Gracie affiliate came into the clash an underdog, but Branch proved the bookmakers wrong and went on to win the 185-lb strap after submitting Taylor in quick succession.

WSOF’S Middleweight Champion now has a tougher challenge ahead of him when he has the task of fending off Japan’s powerhouse wrestler in Yushin Okami.

*Additional match-ups have yet to be announced for the event.

Photo credit: Lucas Noonan/WSOF
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