Raphael Assuncao Added To List of Injured Bantamweights
Raphael Assuncao has patiently waited for a title shot to come his way. He may have to wait a little longer.
Another One Bites The Dust
Shortly after former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz announced that he suffered a 2nd ACL injury during training, Assuncao shocked the MMA world when he announced his own injury that is expected to further delay a possible shot at the UFC bantamweight title. Assuncao said that he broke his ankle while training and although no surgery is required, he will be out for at least 10 weeks.
Assuncao was looking at a very possible shot at the belt after Cruz, who was guaranteed the next shot at T.J. Dillashaw following his 62 second demolition of Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 178 last September, virtually bowed out of competition for the entire 2015 with the ACL injury. Cruz was stripped of the UFC bantamweight belt after his first ACL injury and the subsequent rehab took him out of the Octagon for nearly three years. With Cruz out, the 4th ranked Assuncao was next in line to take on Dillashaw since #3 ranked Urijah Faber is Dillashaw’s teammate and mentor at Team Alpha male and is not expected to fight the champion.
A Long Win Streak
Assuncao is currently on a seven fight winning streak which is the fourth longest current streak behind Jon Jones, Chris Weidman and Jose Aldo, who are all current UFC champions. Assuncao’s last loss was a first round KO to Eric Koch on March 2011 at UFC 128 and since then he has been on a tear. Coincidentally, Assuncao owns a 2013 win over Dillashaw although that split decision win is considered controversial. On the record though, he is only one of two men to defeat the current UFC bantamweight champion (the other is John Dodson) and the last to do so.
This is not the first time that Assuncao suffered an injury when he was close to a title shot. After defeating Dillashaw, Assuncao had positioned himself as the number one contender for the title which was then held by Renan Barao. On his way to his sixth consecutive win over Pedro Munhoz at UFC 170, Assuncao fractured his ribs and was forced to step away from a fight with Barao at UFC 173. Dillashaw replaced him and went on to shock the world and beat Barao. As lightning strikes twice for Raphael Assuncao with another injury, the title shot will have to wait longer. Barao is now expected to face Dillashaw next as Assuncao heals another costly injury.
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