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Raphael Assuncao: Title shots shouldn’t be defined by ‘a certain number of followers’

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Bantamweight contender Raphael Assuncao is frustrated overhis lack of a UFC title shot.

MMA: UFC 226-Assuncao vs Font
Raphael Assuncao
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Longtime UFC bantamweight contender Raphael Assuncao is tired of being put behind other title challengers.

In a recent interview with Combate, the 36-year-old claimed to believe that the only reason he wasn’t awarded a crack at the belt is because he is not vocal enough on social media and doesn’t talk trash.

Currently on a four-fight winning streak, with his last loss being to the now champion, TJ Dillashaw, Assuncao laments that such factors can decide whether or not an athlete can warrant a title shot.

“I think I’ve done enough to warrant a title shot a long time ago,” Assuncao said. “There are some factors that shouldn’t be pivotal for them not to give me a title shot. A certain number of followers is an example. I don’t think that should define who deserves it, who will be the next challenger. I’m no Tiririca (a famous Brazilian comedian), let’s put it that way. I don’t have a ‘X’ number of followers, so I can’t warrant a title shot. That’s not cool. But it’s what the boss said, so let’s move on.”

“I’m a pretty down-to-earth guy,” He added. “My followers are people who follow me for real, I reply to them. You have two million followers, do you know who they are? You have no idea, sometimes it’s not even a legit follower, they can be bought, Unfortunately, that makes a difference when selling a fight.”

Scheduled to rematch Marlon Moraes at UFC Fortaleza, a fighter whom he defeated via split decision back in June 2017, Assuncao states that a second win over ‘Magic’ should be the last step before securing his long-awaited title shot.

“I have to beat Marlon again,” Assuncao said. “Then I’ll literally be on wait for the title shot. But I have a tough opponent ahead of me, just like it was in 2017, but I’ll be super well trained. We intend to do the same thing we did in 2017, only better. I’m in search of this win so I can be at peace with myself and rest assured that I won’t have to do anything else. I’ll just sit on the couch and wait for the boss to call.”

In his current four-fight winning streak, Raphael Assuncao defeated both Aljamain Sterling and Marlon Moraes via split decision, the knocked out Matthew Lopez and, most recently, bested Rob Font via unanimous decision back in July.