One of the most intense debates in MMA at present surrounds who deserves the next crack at UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw. There are those who feel the opportunity should go to former champion Dominick Cruz. There are others who feel former World Series of Fighting champion Marlon Moraes has earned the opportunity. And there are those who feel Raphael Assuncao is the most deserving man.
According to Raphael Assuncao himself, there’s really no debating it.
“I don’t know any other reason I shouldn’t be the next guy, unless they go by Twitter followers,” Assuncao told MMA Fighting this week. “If they go by Twitter followers, then I probably won’t be that guy. And I can cry about it but that’s the truth, right? There’s nothing more I can do about it other than campaign and try to be a truthful guy. If they go by who has the most Twitter followers and Instagram followers, then I probably won’t be that guy. But if they go by the most deserving, the most consistent, and one of the best fighters in the division, I’ll be that guy. I’d definitely be that guy.
“I’ve never missed weight. I’m the most consistent guy in this division, probably up there with TJ, because TJ. is a pretty consistent champion,” Assuncao added. “I think he’s one of the most consistent guys out there. Other than myself and TJ, there’s no other fighter in there who’s as consistent as we are.”
At this point, Raphael Assuncao isn’t sure what else he has to do to convince the UFC that he should be the next in line for a bantamweight title shot. He’s 11-1 in the division, and 1-1 across his two previous bouts with Dillashaw. He also owns a recent win over fellow contender Marlon Moraes.
“I have no idea, man. I have no idea,” Assuncao said. “I’ve done everything that I have to do, I’ve done everything that I could do, and I don’t know what else to do. It’s a confusing time right now. It’s just a crazy time in the bantamweight division, I understand that, but let’s make this happen, man. I don’t know what else I’ve got to do. I really don’t.
“I’m starting to think of other options, like, get a good lawyer or something,” Assuncao added, laughing. “I don’t know what to do. I really don’t.”
Do you think Raphael Assuncao should be next for TJ Dillashaw?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/12/2018.