Rockhold finished the fight in the second round after taking Branch to ground and submitting him.
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No. 3 middleweight Luke Rockhold beat David Branch with a flurry of strikes in the second round of a showdown between top-ranked fighters Saturday night, re-establishing himself as a contender in the division. Rockhold (16-3) took Branch to the ground in the second round and established top control, hammering blows on Branch's head and neck. The fight was Rockhold's first since losing the middleweight title to Michael Bisping last June. But after a 16-month layoff that included a knee injury, Rockhold again feels ready to challenge for the title.Rockhold doesn't consider St. Pierre a legitimate contender for the title and said he'll stay ready to fight in November if the Canadian former champ backs out.
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