Raphael Assuncao on title fight: 'I'll be pissed if it doesn't happen'

USA TODAY Sports

Raphael Assuncao firmly believes that he has earned a UFC bantamweight title shot, and he's not afraid to express that opinion.

UFC bantamweight Raphael Assuncao isn't the type to talk a lot of trash. Normally he just goes about his business and picks up wins in the cage with little fanfare. But now that he has won six bouts in a row, he feels like it's time for a UFC bantamweight title shot against Renan Barao. And he was very vocal about it in an interview with Fox Sports:

"I'll be pissed if it doesn't happen. You know what? I'm proud of what I've done. I look at it and I try to stay humble and do what I've got to do, but I think people forget, I'm the first guy to beat the win streak at Nova Uniao with Johnny Eduardo. He had an 11-fight win streak and I beat him, and people say, 'That's nothing.' So then I beat Mike Easton. He was on a win streak, and I broke it. Then I beat T.J. Dillashaw. They had a new coach and they're on a tear, and I'm the guy who stopped that win streak.

"A title shot, it wouldn't be a gift," he continued. "I worked for it. They wouldn't be giving it to me for free. I earned it."

...

"I'm ready to challenge the champ," Assuncao said. "No pressure. I'm going to have fun. I'm going to be happy. I mean, I'm always happy fighting, but that will be a special fight.

"I'm not interested in fighting anybody else," he continued. "No other fight makes sense to me, to be honest. As far as managing, I've been managing myself from the beginning, so if I don't start speaking up for myself, nobody will. And respectfully, I won't take any other fight right now."

Assuncao is coming off a decision win over late replacement Pedro Munhoz at UFC 170. Right now he's the most logical challenger since Barao has beaten everyone else on top. And Assuncao is doing the right thing by being vocal about it instead of just sitting back and potentially missing out on the opportunity. I used to think he maybe needed one more fight, but his argument did a good job of convincing me that he's a worthy challenger. Will it be enough to convince the UFC though?

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