Let’s hope he’s really not running (because of this).
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has a reigning bantamweight champion in TJ Dillashaw, and will likely crown a division title contender when Jimmie Rivera collides with Marlon Moraes at UFC Utica on June 1.
With Cody Garbrandt occupying the No. 1 spot in the official UFC rankings (see them here), No. 3-ranked bantamweight Raphael Assuncao told MMA Fighting he wants to slug his way into a future title fight by turning away former 135-pound kingpin Dominick Cruz.
Once “The Dominator” stops running from him.
”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.”
Cruz stepped away from the fight game after breaking his arm last December.
Assuncao (26-5) holds a win over Dillashaw from 2013, but came up short in their UFC 200 rematch roughly three years later. The Brazilian has captured three in a row and is 10-1 dating back to early 2011.
As for Cruz (22-2), his 13-fight win streak was snapped in a unanimous decision loss to Garbrandt at UFC 207. Despite his latest setback, “The Dominator” did compete three times in 2016.
Anyone think he’s running from Assuncao?