Raphael Assuncao currently sits at #3 in the UFC Bantamweight Division rankings, with former UFC Bantamweight Champions Dominick Cruz and Cody Garbrandt ahead of him.
The Brazilian wants a shot at the bantamweight gold and he proposes a bout against Cruz to see who gets the next shot at TJ Dillashaw.
”I’ve already called him out in many interviews, but we don’t know what’s next for me yet,” Assuncao said to MMA Fighting. “The fight to make is me against Cruz. He’s the No. 2 in the ranking and I’m the No. 3. That’s the right fight to make. Marlon (Moraes) and Jimmie (Rivera) are right below me and they are fighting next, so this is the fight to make — but he already ran from the fight, said he’s out indefinitely. I think he’s trying some kind of strategy, like waiting for someone to get injured and get a title fight on short notice. I think that’s what he wants. But we have to make this fight to see who’s the next contender.”
Assuncao has already fought the UFC Bantamweight Champion, dropping a decision to Dillashaw at UFC 200.
One One thing that Assuncao says is that the majority of the fighters that Cruz fought when he was champion have mostly retired.
”Even though he’s a former champion,” Assuncao said. “Most of the guys he beat when he was champion have already retired.”
If Assuncao were to get a shot at Dillashaw and the gold, it would be the first opportunity he would have to become champion.