David Branch will no longer be fighting Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at UFC 230 this weekend (Sat. November 3, 2018). Initially, Branch and the Brazilian were paired to square off on the Madison Square Garden card. However, when one of the premier middleweight bouts on the card fell apart, the UFC needed to shuffle Souza elsewhere.
Initially, a co-main event of Chris Weidman vs. Luke Rockhold was slated for UFC 230. This would’ve been a rematch from their bout at UFC 194 in 2015. Rockhold became the first man to defeat Weidman in MMA competition with a fourth-round TKO. Unfortunately, some injuries sustained during training camp forced the Californian to withdraw.
In order to maintain a top-tier 185-pound clash on the card, the UFC shuffled Souza in opposite Weidman. As for Branch, he wasn’t left empty-handed. A replacement opponent was given to the former World Series Of Fighting (WSOF) double champion in the form of Jared Cannonier.
Speaking to MMA Junkie, Branch detailed his disappointment in losing the opportunity to share the Octagon with a fighter the caliber of Souza:
“It’s the fight business; it’s the hurt business,” Branch said. “The definition of the hurt business is you’re going to get your feelings hurt a lot. You can get your body hurt, your feelings hurt and a lot of things get hurt.
“This is the hurt business, and it’s one of the things that happens. It’s all business. They did keep me on the card. I’m very thankful for that, and they found an opponent that’s game. ‘Jacare’ was a fight that I definitely wanted, but it is what it is.
“It’s the fight game and this is the journey. … I think of anyone in the division, I’m one of the most equipped to handle this sort of thing. I’ve been through hell and back. This is just another thing.”
What do you think about Branch no longer fighting Jacare at UFC 230?