Raphael Assuncao Wants Title Shot Against Renan Barao
Posted by Larry Csonka on 02.04.2014
Feels he is in position to face the champion…
- Yesterday it was reported that Francisco Rivera (10-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is out of his UFC 170 bout with Raphael Assuncao (21-4 MMA, 5-1 UFC) due to suffering a broken hand. Both Eddie Wineland and TJ Dillishaw have shown interest in the fight, which could determine the next challenger for bantamweight champion Renan Barao. But Assuncao has other ideas…
On Deserving a Title Shot Now: "I humbly consider myself to be in position to face the champion. 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. I haven't spoken to the (UFC) yet. But now I'm solidly at No. 3. Urijah (Faber) tried and failed twice. (Michael) McDonald lost, too. Wineland didn't last long. With all due respect, I think now is my turn."
On Wineland: "He recently had his shot at the belt. He didn't last long against the champion," Assuncao said of Wineland's TKO loss to Barao at UFC 165. "He just fought Yves Jabouin, who's someone I've defeated in the past. Now Wineland wants a fight against No. 3 – that would be me. He's looking for a quicker route back to the belt. But I've never had a quick route. I built my career one fight at a time. I've fought hurt and on short notice. I've fought everyone they put in front of me. It's very easy for Wineland to volunteer to face me because he's got nothing to lose. "… I think Wineland is frustrated because he only lasted a few minutes against Barao. Now he wants to face me. Actually, I think it would be a cool fight, since Wineland is a tough guy with a good right hand and decent wrestling, plus he's scrappy. But he doesn't have a win streak like mine."
On Dillishaw: "T.J. Dillashaw was talking stupid after he got a win over Mike Easton," he said. "I beat Easton on three weeks' notice. And I beat Dillashaw when I was hurt. During my camp, I was on antibiotics and couldn't even punch a heavy bag or do pad work. "… Dillashaw is saying I didn't beat him. I might start posting photos of his bloody face after our fight. He had finished his previous three opponents, but but he couldn't do it to me. … I fought Dillashaw and it was a great fight. We won the ‘Fight of the Night' bonus. And now he's saying he was robbed. I have the fight recorded on my DVR. If he wishes, we can sit down and watch it together. He took my back and hurt my eye while he had my back. But I rocked him at least four times. That's what I have to say about that. I have no one that speaks on my behalf, so I have to do it myself."
On Possibly Getting The Title Shot: "Barao apparently didn't get hurt this past weekend, so let's do this thing," he said. "I have a couple of very minor injuries; it's nothing serious. Barao could have a few minor bumps, too. We can still make this fight happen. I'll be talking to the boss soon and telling him how I feel. I'm not looking for an easy route. Wineland wants to face me now, and he's on a one-fight winning streak. Dillashaw can talk all he wants, but I beat him too. Let's see what the boss says. "Ultimately, I'm going remain humble and wait for my time to arrive. God is in control. God chooses the perfect time, though sometimes you have to speak up. I was already making the case to face Barao a while back. Instead, I was booked against Rivera while Faber got another shot. Barao is the champion and the best in the world, but I think I can bring a different type of fight to him. And now Wineland wants to use me as a shortcut. I think he needs to wait his turn like I did."