With Dominick Cruz back in the mix, it remains to be seen what the UFC elects to do with Raphael Assuncao, who has been making a pretty solid case for a title shot in his own right. After all, not only has Assuncao won 7 straight, he scored a split decision win over TJ Dillashaw during his ongoing run,
Since Cruz is a former champ, who never in fact lost the title in a fight, he’ll take on Dillashaw next. There’s been talk that the UFC might tap fellow contender Urijah Faber to face Assuncao, but the latter has already said he’s not interested in that fight.
But what about “The California Kid”? Well, it doesn’t sound like Faber’s too interested in facing a guy he defeated back in 2010 either.
While speaking to MMA Fighting.com recently about the prospect of fighting Assuncao, here is what Faber had to say:
“Fighting Raphael Assunaco isn’t that exciting to me,” said Faber. “I have nothing against him, he’s a good guy and a good fighter. I just think there are other challenges out there that could be better for me.”
“I mean, if Assuncao was a fight the UFC wanted, I wouldn’t say no to it,” Faber said. “I’ve never said no to any fight the UFC has asked of me. It’s not a fight I’d lobby for. Right now I’m willing to wait and see what comes up.”
How about that? Assuncao has argued that since Faber has already fought for the title several times, and lost, that he’d rather fight for the belt than try to avenge his loss to the Team Alpha Male star. While neither guy seems to keen on the match-up, one would think the UFC could sell some tickets with this fight. It would be a pretty entertaining scrap no?
You can understand why, however, Assuncao sounds reluctant to face Faber, as a loss would cost him a championship fight. The UFC has consistently demonstrated though, that it prefers to keep its top fighters busy, rather than have them sit around for prolonged periods of time. Especially if some of their most recent performances didn’t exactly buzz the MMA masses. Assuncao, and his recent win over Bryan Caraway, likely falls into this category.
The only other man who is ranked above Faber and Assuncao, aside from Cruz and Dillashaw, is former champ Renan Barao.