T.J. Dillashaw emphatically claimed the UFC Bantamweight title with a fifth round TKO win over Renan Barao at UFC 173 on Saturday. Naturally potential rivals are crawling out of the woodwork to stake their claim on a title shot.
First in line may be the last man to beat Dillashaw, Raphael Assuncao, who took a split decision win over the now champ at UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Shields in October, 2013.
"I hope they give me the title shot," Assuncao told Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com. "I want to fight T.J. Dillashaw next. He said he deserved to win the first fight, so it's the perfect finale."
Meanwhile, ex-champ Renan Barao and his coach, Nova Uniao boss Andre Pederneiras, are aggressively lobbying for an immediate rematch. Not surprisingly, Assuncao thinks that won't be necessary.
"T.J. dominated him for five rounds and even got the TKO in the end," he said. "I will never demerit Barao, but I deserve to fight (for the title). My fight with T.J. was way more competitive."
As for T.J.'s performance, count Assuncao among the not overly impressed.
"I think he insisted more in his strategy, but he basically did what he did against me," he said. "I guess he was better prepared, evolved in the physical aspect, but he didn't change his strategy. I was surprised he beat Barao, but not shocked.