Raphael Assuncao was confident he would be able to defeat Marlon Moraes again. However, the fight did not play out like their first fight. Instead, Moraes dropped Assuncao early and then won by submission in the first round to become the clear cut number one contender.
Now, the question remains of if Assuncao never took that fight would he have gotten the next title shot against TJ Dillashaw given he has beaten him before? Well, that is a question Assuncao was left wondering following the fight.
“Most of my trainers and my family members didn’t want me to accept this fight,” Assuncao said post-fight. “Maybe they were right. They had their reasoning being a risky fight, and he beat me. He’s a dangerous guy, and I consider myself a warrior. I think any challenge, I’ll be ready for it. I think looking back now I could have also seen it from the other side and waited for that fight. But we’ll keep moving forward.”
Although Assuncao took the fight against Moraes it was within reason. He saw what happened to Colby Covington and didn’t want to get passed over. Instead, he thought he would fight and win and the UFC would have no choice but to give him the next title shot.
“Unfortunately, in this sport, it can happen, and it happened tonight for me,” Assuncao said. “I was very optimistic I would get through Marlon again, but in this sport, everyone knows that it’s hard to keep a win-streak, regardless if it’s knockout or decisions. I took the chance, and it was bad for me.”
No matter what, Assuncao is confident he will get back to the top. At 36-years-old, time may be running out, but he still has a few good years left. Know for sure, Assuncao believes he will have trilogy fights against Dillashaw and Moraes.
“We’re going to have a third fight just like I’m going to fight T.J. (Dillashaw) again one day,” Assuncao said. “I haven’t had much luck in rematches with those guys.”
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime