Anthony Johnson now has an opponent for his Titan Fighting Championship debut, as promotion officials announced Friday that “Rumble” will square off with fellow UFC veteran David Branch at Titan FC 22 on May 25.
No other contests have been announced for the event, which takes place at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan., and airs live on HDNet.
The show marks Johnson’s first in-cage appearance since his departure from the UFC in January. The 28-year-old was released by the promotion after failing to make weight for his middleweight showdown with Vitor Belfort at UFC 142. The Imperial Athletics representative formerly competed for the UFC at 170 pounds, missing weight on two previous occasions. Known for his heavy hands, Johnson posted a 7-4 record during his time with the promotion, notching six knockouts along the way.
“I have a lot of respect for David Branch for taking this fight, but it doesn’t really matter who’s in the cage with me, because the fight’s going to end the same way -- with him on the floor and me standing up,” said Johnson in the official release.
Branch, 30, competed four times for the UFC from 2010 to 2011, notching wins over Tomasz Drwal and Rich Attonito and falling to Gerald Harris and Rousimar Palhares. Since his submission defeat to “Toquinho” and subsequent Octagon exit roughly one year ago, Branch has posted a pair of victories, besting Jeremy May at Shark Fights 15 in May before outpointing Dominique Steele on Jan. 22.
“[Johnson] is a great fighter, and he comes from a great camp, but I’ve been training for a fight like this all of my life,” said Branch. “When May 25 comes, I’m going to put on the best performance of my career, and my hand will be raised.”