Yesterday, USADA released a statement officially announcing that David Branch had failed a drug test for the growth hormone ipamorelin. Branch received the standard two-year suspension for the failed test.
It was then reported by Mike Russell that Branch had been released from his contract by the UFC which MMA Fighting later confirmed with UFC officials.
As mentioned in Russell’s tweet, after the news first broke about Branch’s failed test he took to social media to share the following post suggesting that he will respond to allegations soon. The hashtags are also interesting as it suggests he may have split from his management company Dominance MMA Management, owned by Ali Abdelaziz.
The USADA suspension is only banning Branch from UFC competition. If he was to fight for another organisation it would be the decision of the athletic commission as to whether he would be eligible to compete or not. The athletic commissions will all be able to see Branch’s suspension on their database but ultimately the decision lies with them as to whether or not he can compete.
If certain commissions are willing to grant Branch a license to fight, then being released from his contract would be a good thing as he may be able to fight again sooner rather than later.
Branch leaves the UFC with a total record of 4-5 across his two stints with the organisation. He showed great potential and his UFC career is highlighted by a brilliant first round knockout over Thiago Santos who recently challenged Jon Jones for the light heavyweight title.
Branch had a remarkable 10 fight winning streak at World Series of Fighting between his two UFC runs where he captured the WSOF middleweight title along the way. The WSOF has now been rebranded as the Professional Fighters League so perhaps we could see Branch make a return there.