Tomasz Drwal file photo: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
Tomasz Drwal will lock horns with Bellator Fighting Championships veteran Dave Branch in a preliminary middleweight matchup at UFC Fight Night 22 on Sept. 15 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. Nine fights are official for the event, which will air live on Spike TV.
Drwal has posted 16 wins in his past 18 appearances. The 28-year-old Polish export last appeared at UFC 111 in March, when he submitted to a heel hook from leg lock connoisseur Rousimar Palhares at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Palhares was subsequently suspended for 90 after failing to release the hold upon Drwal’s tapout. A potent finisher, Drwal has secured 15 of his 17 career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission. Wins over International Fight League veteran Mike Ciesnolevicz and middleweight slugger Drew McFedries anchor his resume. None of Drwal’s last 15 fights have reached the judges.
A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Renzo Gracie, Branch has delivered all six of his wins by KO, TKO or submission. He made his promotional debut at UFC 116 in July, when he was on the receiving end of a highlight reel KO from Gerald Harris, who ended their encounter with a powerful third-round slam. In seven professional appearances, Branch has yet to go the distance.
A pivotal middleweight showdown pairing former title contender Nate Marquardt with Palhares will headline UFC Fight Night 22, along with a lightweight tilt pitting “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 winner Efrain Escudero and the unbeaten Charles Oliveira. Other fights greenlit for the event include lightweight duels matching American Top Team’s Cole Miller against “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 9 winner Ross Pearson and AMA Fight Club standout Jim Miller against fellow Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Gleison Tibau.
UFC Fight Night 22
Wednesday, Sept. 15
Frank Erwin Center
Nate Marquardt vs. Rousimar Palhares
Efrain Escudero vs. Charles Oliveira
Jim Miller vs. Gleison Tibau
Cole Miller vs. Ross Pearson
Jared Hamman vs. Kyle Kingsbury
Tomasz Drwal vs. Dave Branch
Rich Attonito vs. Rafael Natal
David Mitchell vs. Anthony Waldburger
Brian Foster vs. Forrest Petz
* Yves Edwards vs. John Gunderson
* Not Official