Luke Rockhold returns to Octagon on Sept. 16 against David Branch

Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold will make his first appearance of 2017 against David Branch on Sept. 16 in Pittsburgh.

Officials announced the 185-pound matchup on Saturday. The five-round fight will headline UFC Fight Night inside PPG Paints Arena.

Rockhold (15-3) hasn't fought since he suffered a stunning first-round knockout loss to Michael Bisping at UFC 199 in June 2016. He was scheduled to fight Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza last November but withdrew with a knee injury.

A San Jose native, Rockhold missed significant time to the injury but was also unhappy about the middleweight title picture -- namely, a proposed championship fight between Bisping and Georges St-Pierre. The UFC stated recently that it has moved on from that fight.

Branch (21-3) is a former middleweight and light heavyweight WSOF champion. He is riding an 11-fight win streak.

Fighting out of Brooklyn, Branch was cut from the UFC in 2011 but went 12-1 in his next 13 fights to earn an invite back to the Octagon. He is coming off a split decision win over Krzysztof Jotko in May.

In addition to the main event, the UFC announced middleweight fights between Hector Lombard (34-7-1) and Anthony Smith (27-12), as well as Uriah Hall (12-8) versus Jotko (19-2).