Raphael Assuncao

Raphael Assuncao returns to the Octagon against rising bantamweight Ricky Simon

Veteran fighter Raphael Assuncao is set to return to the Octagon later this year against rising bantamweight contender Ricky Simon.

MMA DNL’s Marcel Dorff was the first to report the Assuncao vs. Simon fight, which is set to take place on December 18. This card does not yet have a location or a venue announced for it yet, but in addition to Assuncao vs. Simon, other fights set to take place on the December 18 card include Amanda Lemos vs. Nina Nunes at women’s 115lbs, Anthony Hernandez vs. Dustin Stoltzfus, and Don’Tale Mayes vs. Josh Parisian.

Assuncao (27-8) is currently the No. 12 ranked bantamweight in the UFC rankings. The 39-year-old Brazilian has been a professional MMA fighter since 2004, and he has been in the UFC since 2011. Since then, Assuncao has racked up a record of 11-5 overall inside the Octagon. He has defeated some tough competition over the years including TJ Dillashaw, Aljamain Sterling, Marlon Moraes, Ron Font, and Pedro Munhoz. However, now that he is 39 years old, it is fair to suggest that Assuncao is on the back-end of his career. In many ways, he is being used as a gatekeeper now, and the fact he is fighting an unranked opponent in Simon proves just that.

Simon (18-3) is unranked but he is a very good young bantamweight who could soon break into the top-15 at 135lbs. The 28-year-old American is 6-2 overall in the Octagon since joining the UFC in 2018, with wins over the likes of Brian Kelleher, Montel Jackson, and Merab Dvalishvili. Simon has won the last three fights that he’s had, and there were rumors that he could face rising star Sean O’Malley next. However, the UFC matchmakers decided that the fight to take was against the top-15 ranked veteran Assuncao, instead.

Who do you think wins this UFC bantamweight bout between Raphael Assuncao and Ricky Simon?

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