Raphael Assuncao doesn't support Dillashaw-Johnson super fight, wants top-three guy next

AUSTIN, Texas Raphael Assuncao might be the forgotten man near the top of the UFC bantamweight division, and he seems to be wondering what’s going on.Champion T.J. Dillashaw, official UFC No. 1 Cody Garbrandt, No. 2 ranked Dominick Cruz, none of them seem to be interested in third-ranked Assuncao.
“They’re not calling me out,” Assuncao told MMAjunkie backstage Sunday night at Frank Erwin Center during UFC Fight Night 126. “They know I’m right there. I guess they’ve got different plans.”
While that might be the case, Assuncao, 35, has Dillashaw (15-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC), Garbrandt (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) and Cruz (22-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) squarely on his radar.
“I’ll fight any of those guys,” Assuncao said. “I mean, I’m ready to fight the No. 1 or No. 2 guy if I’m not getting the champion right off the bat. I’m willing to fight … I want to fight those guys. I’m No. 3, right? So it all makes sense. I’ve been fighting backward in the rankings now for a while. I’m going to campaign as much as I can.”
Since losing a rematch to Dillashaw in July 2016 at UFC 200, Assuncao has reeled off three wins in a row, beating Aljamain Sterling, Marlon Moraes and Matthew Lopez, respectively, last year.
More than anything, Assuncao, who said he’s currently renegotiating his UFC deal, wants a trilogy with Dillashaw after splitting their first two bouts. Dillashaw, of course, is dead set on booking a champion vs. champion super fight with flyweight titleholder Demetrious Johnson in July.
That is something Assuncao isn’t cool with, not when there’s business to tend to in Dillashaw’s own weight class.
“I’m not a supporter of that fight at all,” Assuncao said. “I believe he needs to take care of his own division for right now. There’s plenty of fights to make happen, myself included being the trilogy.
“The first fight was a while back; we’ve both progressed. I had an injury. Then he beat me in my comeback fight, and since then I’ve improved and put a little bit of a win streak together. I think we need to do it.”
In order for that to happen, though, Assuncao will first have to get on Dillashaw and others’ radars.
He’ll wait.
“I enjoy myself sometimes, the way I am. But sometimes it is a little frustrating, but I don’t let it get over my head,” Assuncao said. “I’ve learned how to take my time. … I don’t have a problem waiting. It’s going to happen.”
To hear more from Assuncao, watch the video above.For complete covearge ofUFC Fight Night 126, check out theUFC Eventssection of the site.

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