UFC 116: Gerald Harris vs Dave Branch booked for July 3 in Las Vegas

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The resurgent Gerald Harris (15-2) is back (again) and will try to keep his momentum going when he welcomes Octagon newcomer Dave Branch (6-0) to the promotion at UFC 116: "Lesnar vs Carwin" on July 3 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

MMAWeekly confirmed the match-up last Sunday.

Harris was bounced from The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 7 reality show by eventual winner Amir Sadollah. Since then, "The Hurricane" has enjoyed a torrid nine-fight winning streak, including back-to-back technical knockout wins over John Salter and Mario Miranda in consecutive "Fight Night" appearances.

No doubt the Tulsa native is making the promotion second-guess their decision not to include him in the 2008 TUF Finale, but Harris perhaps owes his maturity as a fighter to the time spent on the regional circuit.

That experience could prove to be trouble for Branch -- though the Brooklyn native has some big stage experience of his own under the Bellator banner.

In two appearances for the upstart promotion, Branch scored submission wins (rear naked choke) over Dennis Olson and Derrick Mehmen. None of his six fights have gone the distance and he's a well balanced finisher at three subs and three (T)KO's.

A win over Harris would certainly leave a lasting impression in his UFC debut.

UFC 116 will feature a titanic heavyweight showdown between division champion Brock Lesnar and interim titlist Shane Carwin. It marks the return of the promotion's biggest box office draw, Lesnar, who will return from a career-threatening intestinal problem to once again establish himself as the undisputed man among men.

"Lesnar vs. Carwin" will also feature a middleweight showdown between Wanderlei Silva and Yoshihiro Akiyama, as well as a highly-anticipated rematch between Stephan Bonnar and Krzysztof Soszynski.

For the latest UFC 116 news and notes click here.

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