Dave Branch | Sherdog.com
Renzo Gracie pupil Dave Branch will step in for Alexandre “Cacareco” Ferreira to take on leg lock specialist Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares at UFC Live 3 “Sanchez vs. Kampmann.”
The news was first reported by Heavy.com on Wednesday morning, and Sherdog.com has confirmed the switch with a source close to one of the fighters. Ferreira reportedly withdrew from the bout due to losing family and friends in the massive floods affecting southeastern Brazil.
On Tuesday, Chute Boxe Academy founder Rudimar Fedrigo told Brazilian website R7.com that Ferreira had been dismissed from his team.
The event, which takes place March 3 at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky., will be headlined by a welterweight scrap between Danish striker Martin Kampmann and the resurgent Diego Sanchez. The main card will air live on Spike TV.
Branch was last seen in the Octagon in December at “The Ultimate Fighter 12” finale, where the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt outpointed Rich Attonito. This marked the second consecutive victory for the North Carolina native.
Branch suffered the first and only loss of his career in his UFC debut against Gerald Harris in July. Mid-way through the third round of that contest, Harris slammed Branch to the canvas with violent force, knocking the 28-year-old unconscious and earning “Knockout of the Night” honors. Branch would rebound with a victory over Polish standout Tomasz Drwal, however, earning a unanimous decision over the Alliance MMA product at UFC Fight Night 22.
In Palhares, Branch faces a submission wizard with an affinity for torquing knees and ankles. The Brazilian Top Team representative has won three of his last four, although his most recent trip inside the cage did not end favorably.
In the main event of the aforementioned “Fight Night 22” in September, “Toquinho” was knocked stiff by Nate Marquardt after the Brazilian failed with a leg lock attempt. When Palhares looked to the referee, complaining that Marquardt had greased his legs, the Grudge Training Center standout seized the opportunity and pounced, landing a colossal right hand that spelled doom for Palhares. Marquardt was immediately cleared of any wrongdoing, and Palhares has since apologized for his accusation.