Raphael Assuncao is pretty good. In fact, he’s REALLY good. Unfortunately for him, he flies under the radar as the #4 ranked bantamweight in the world. Maybe after his fight-ending knockout over #13 Matthew Lopez last night at UFC Norfolk, that will change. Assuncao certainly made a great case as to why he should be fighting for the belt with that KO.
Since dropping to bantamweight in 2011, Assuncao has gone 10-1. The 1 loss came to at the hands of the current champion, TJ Dillashaw. Oh and by the way… he beat TJ a year before that. He is ranked only behind Cody Garbrandt, Dominick Cruz, and Jimmie Rivera. However, as we all know, rankings are worthless and it only matters if you can ‘sell’ a fight.
Dominant finishes are what seems to be what earns title shots. That and talking a lot of smack. Therein lies the problem with Assuncao. Of those 10 bantamweight wins, 7 were decisions and he is a very respectful fighter. Dana White and company have been known to frown on grinders that do not finish fights.
With that monstrous knockout over Matt Lopez, maybe that will change. At the very least, he should be in a #1 contender fight.