In this new series, we will take a look at the newest additions to the UFC roster, the Bantamweights and Featherweights. The series is used to show the established fighters, ready to fight for the title, down to the new up and comers. For the next few weeks, I will try and post atleast two fighters a day. Leading up to the first title defense in the Featherweight division at UFC 129.
Featherweight UP AND COMER #20 – Raphael Assuncao
At 13 – 1 and 26 years old , it was no surprise when Raphael Assuncao was invited to the WEC. He had wins over Joe Lauzon, Jorge Masvidal, Nick Mamalis and a 13 second stoppage over Joe Pearson. Assuncao entered the UFC with a 16 – 3 record, but was viciously stopped by Eric Koch at UFC 128 in Newark, New Jersey.
After starting his career with the WEC 2 – 0, Assuncao faced his toughest challenge in Urijah Faber. In the fight, Faber used his strength and superior wrestling to eventually submit Accuncao in the third round. After a loss to Diego Nunes, Assuncao bounced back with a win against L. C. Davis before he was merged into the worlds largest MMA promotion.
With a new lease on life, Assuncao looked to keep his momentum against Manvel Gamburyan at UFC 128. An injury to Gamburyan kept things from going as smoothly as he wouldve liked. Assuncao accepted a short notice fight against Eric Koch, who was 12 – 1 with a three fight win streak. The fight ended quick with Assuncao looking at the ceiling just 2:32 into the first round.
Assuncao looks to bounce back in the middle of 2011, and start a new trek back to his chance at the featherweight title. Look for him to be a gatekeeper in the division, who has faced a lot of the top guys in the division. His record can be deceiving, and hopefully we see this submission ace back to winning ways soon.
UP AND COMERS
# 21 – Alex Caceres
#20 – Raphael Assuncao