UFC bantamweight Raphael Assuncao was declared the winner in a razor-thin decision over top-prospect Aljamain Sterling and wasted no time in trying to get himself a title-contender bout with the recently-dethroned 135lb legend, Dominick Cruz.
Raphael Assuncao bounced back from his UFC 200 loss to TJ Dillashaw with a close decision victory over Aljamain “The Funk Master” Sterling at last weekend’s UFC Denver and though his opponent was probably the more active of the two from an offensive perspective, the new rulings brought into MMA for the coming year favoured the superior damage inflicted by the Brazilian and garnered him the hard-fought victory.
Assuncao, who has lost just once in his last nine fights, sat at 3rd in the bantamweight division prior to his latest win with only the aforementioned Dillashaw (who he has fought twice, going 1-1) and the former-champion Dominick Cruz between him and a shot at the champion Cody Garbrandt. Cruz, who was dethroned by “No Love” at UFC 207 late last year, has made it clear that he will be waiting it out for a title-shot before stepping into the octagon again but that didn’t stop the victorious Assuncao from making a point of calling him out in the wake of his victory last weekend.
Cruz, who is known for his quick-wit, was ruthless in his response.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena