Raphael Assuncao believes having his match scrapped with Francisco Rivera due to an injury should lead him to a shot at the UFC title.
Assuncao (21-4) has won five of his six UFC fights, including a recent split decision over fellow Top-10 fighter T.J. Dillashaw.
Renan Barao, the current UFC bantamweight champion, just successfully defended his belt with a TKO victory over Urijah Faber.
“I humbly consider myself to be in position to face the champion,” said Assuncao, in an interview with MMAjunkie.com. “Everyone else had their chance. I’m willing to wait two or three months to put in a good training camp.
“I’m in the right place. Now is my time.”
Assuncao added that he has yet to speak with the UFC in regards to plans going forward, both for himself and Barao, but said, “Urijah tried and failed twice. (Michael) McDonald lost, too.
“(Eddie) Wineland didn’t last long. With all due respect, I think now is my turn.”
Assuncao feels he could be ready as soon as needed, as he has avoided any serious injuries in training. Barao also likely exited his recent fight with Faber unscratched.
“Barao apparently didn’t get hurt this past weekend so let’s do this thing,” he said. “We can still make this fight happen. I’ll be talking to the boss soon and telling him how I feel.
“Let’s see what the boss says.”
Front-Page Photo Credit: Jason Silva