Raphael Assuncao may have barely got by TJ Dillashaw with a split decision win at UFC Fight Night 29, but at the end of the day, the bantamweight has won five straight fights and currently sits at #4 in the promotion’s rankings. So, considering that the only men ahead of him, Urijah Faber and Michael McDonald, have both lost to interim champ Renan Barao, Assuncao has to be right up there in the title shot mix.
In a recent report from MMA Fighting.com, Assuncao was quoted relaying the following to the media, in regards to what’s next for the 135’er.
“I’ll wait and see what happens,” Assuncao said. “Barao deserves to fight Dominick Cruz to settle this. There’s another semifinal between Urjiah Faber and Michael McDonald to happen. I don’t know what happens next, but I have done enough.”
“They both lost to Barao already,” added Assuncao. “I respect Barao a lot, but I have a different style to fight him.”
Of course, Assuncao’s title shot aspirations hinge on whether reigning champ Dominick Cruz is ready to return in early 2014 as expected. If “The Dominator”is ready to defend his belt, after being sidelined for over two years due to knee surgeries, then Cruz-Barao is a done deal. If Cruz isn’t ready to go, then the UFC could very well tap Assuncao to face Barao.
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