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Raphael Assuncao explains why he isn't fighting Renan Barao at UFC 173
Because of my injury sustained at UFC 170 (fractured rib) I could NOT take the fight for the title against Barão May 24 UFC 173
I am Sorry!— Raphael Assuncao (@RaphaAssuncao) March 28, 2014 After UFC 173 lost a planned headliner between Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida, Dillashaw was booked to fight bantamweight champion Renan Barao (32-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC) in the event’s new championship main event. MMAjunkie first reported the fight on Thursday.
UFC 173 takes place May 24 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass. Dillashaw is ranked No. 8 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, but Assuncao is three spots ahead at No. 5. In fact, Assuncao earned a split-decision victory over Dillashaw (though most major media outlets scored it for Dillashaw, according to MMADecision.com) back in October. As MMAjunkie reported Thursday, the UFC first contacted Assuncao about the title shot, but the 31-year-old wouldn’t be ready with two months’ notice. The fighter injured his rib in his UFC 170 decision victory over Pedro Munhoz. It moved the WEC vet’s current winning streak to six fights, and after the event, UFC President Dana White suggested the Brazilian could be next for a title shot. Even Barao, himself, recentlyÂ endorsed the plan.
For now, though, Assuncao will recover from his injury and plan to fight the Barao vs. Dillashaw winner. For more on UFC 173, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
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