UFC 135 Fight Card Primer: Junior Assuncao vs. Eddie Yagin

via video.ufc.tv

One guy finally earned his way back into the UFC after a four-year absence where he went 7-1. The other finally gets his shot in the limelight after over 11 years in the sport. The winner of the bout is right in the thick of things in a semi-thin featherweight division. The returning Junior Assuncao (12-4, 1-2 UFC) will face off with the debuting Eddie Yagin (15-4-1, 0-0 UFC).

Neither fighter is currently ranked at featherweight on USA Today/BE Consensus Rankings, but definitely could be with a couple of wins. Assuncao is finally getting to fight at his natural weight, as his first run in the UFC was at lightweight. Yagin won the Tachi Palace Fights featherweight title in his last fight, a quick submission over Joe Soto. This featherweight UFC 135 fight will take place on the preliminary card, which will streamed live on Facebook. The Facebook stream begins at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.

How do these two stack up?

Assuncao: 30 years old | 5'9" | 72" reach
Yagin: 32 years old | 5'5" | Unknown reach

What have these two done recently?

Assuncao: W - Wesley Murch (SUB) | W - Mark Miller (KO) | W - John Mahlow (SUB)
Yagin: W - Joe Soto (SUB) | W - Joe Neri (TKO) | L  Diego Saraiva (TKO)

How did these two get here?

Junior Assuncao is a black belt in BJJ an capoeira who made his MMA debut in 2004. After going 4-1 early in his career (including a TKO win over Dustin Hazelett), Junior was brought into the UFC to face Kurt Pellegrino at UFC 64, but was defeated by submission in just over two minutes. He rebounded with a submission win over David Lee at UFC 70, but dropped another bout to Nate Diaz at UFC Fight Night 11 and was released from the company. After going 1-1 in the AFC, he rattled off six wins in a row including an XFC lightweight title win, and was brought back into the UFC, this time at featherweight. 

Eddie "The Filipino Phenom" Yagin has been competing in MMA since 2000, where he started his career off with eight straight wins before getting submitted by Vitor Ribeiro in late 2002. An inconsistent period and a few long layoffs occurred after that, but Yagin has won 7 our of his 8 overall. In his last bout, Yagin defeated former Bellator featherweight champion Joe Soto by guillotine in just two minutes to win the Tachi Palace Fights featherweight title. He was forced to vacate it when he signed with the UFC.

Why should you care?

A couple of well-rounded featherweights with a ton to prove in the UFC? What's not to like?

You can catch more UFC 135 preview content from Bloody Elbow after the jump.


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