UFC 211 is, on paper, one of the best cards the UFC could put on this year. Two title fights, five current or former champions and 13 top 10 fighters make this card a must-watch spectacle on Saturday night.
As with every card, the fighters at the bottom of the card are trying to make their way to that next step in the process. It’s a chance for up-and-coming talent to showcase what they can do on the biggest stage.
The Dallas fighting Rashad ‘Daywalker’ Coulter will make his debut on home soil. The 35-year-old has spent time at middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight in his career with the last two coming at heavyweight.
Coulter was last seen during Legacy Fighting Alliance’s inaugural show in January. He earned his fifth straight KO with the win over Larry Hopkins, with all five coming in the first round. All seven of his career wins have come by KO, six in the first round.
The UFC newcomer has fought in Texas-based promotions Legacy FC/LFA and Shark Fights. Last year, he became the XKO light heavyweight champion with a first-round KO. ‘Daywalker’ fought in Bellator MMA’s stop in Thackerville, Oklahoma with another first round KO over journeyman Jeremiah O’Neal.
His opponent, Chase Sherman, was originally expected to face Dmitry Poberezhets in the UFC Fight Pass portion of the event. On just two weeks’ notice, the Dallas native accepted to make his UFC debut. Sherman has dropped both of his UFC appearances with a decision loss to Justin Ledet and a KO loss to Walt Harris in January.
Michel Quinones will make his debut against fellow newcomer Jared Gordon. They will fight on the preliminary card airing on FX. Quinones comes to the UFC carrying a five-fight win streak with four finishes. In his last four, he has spent under 20 minutes of fight time in the cage.
The Florida-based Absolute FC veteran last fought in Titan FC, earning a decision win over Caio Uruguai in the co-main event. It was just the second decision win of his career. His lone career loss came by unanimous decision to Bellator lightweight contender Brandon Girtz at Bellator 80. He is a part of a new wave of Florida-based latin fighters that the UFC has brought in to bring MMA to Latin America.
He’s not actually making his debut, but it’s been over six years and 12 fights since he was a UFC fighter.
In that six years, Branch went on an absolute tear with 11 wins in 12 fights. His only loss came at the hands of the thunderous Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson in just his second fight removed from the big show. He earned the World Series of Fighting’s middleweight and light heavyweight titles with title defenses in both.
In his first UFC run, Branch was mediocre with two wins and two losses.The hype of the losses (a KO due to a slam and a leglock) were what caused the UFC to let Branch leave and go elsewhere. The scenario worked out for the best, he was able to stay active and make a name for himself to get back to the UFC.
Branch faces Krzysztof Jotko on the main card this Saturday at UFC 211. A win over Jotko in his return sets Branch up for another top 10 showdown in the already crowded middleweight division.
Make sure to check out UFC 211 this Saturday on PPV! Here’s the full card.
Main Card- PPV (10 pm EDT, 7 pm PDT, 3 am BST)
(c)Stipe Miocic vs. Junior dos Santos- for the UFC Heavyweight championship
(c)Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Jessica Andrade- for the UFC Strawweight championship
Demian Maia vs. Jorge Masvidal
Frankie Edgar vs. Yair Rodriguez
Krzysztof Jotko vs. Dave Branch
Preliminary Card- FX/BT Sport 2 (8 pm EDT, 5 pm PDT, 1 am BST)
Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier
Chas Skelly vs. Jason Knight
Chase Sherman vs. Rashad Coulter
Marco Polo Reyes vs. James Vick
Early Preliminary Card- UFC Fight Pass (6:15 pm EDT, 3:15 PDT, 11:15 pm BST)
Jessica Aguilar vs. Cortney Casey
Gabriel Benitez vs. Enrique Barzola
Joachim Christensen vs. Gadzhimurad Antigulov