With Francisco Rivera injured, Raphael Assuncao calls out UFC champion Renan Barao

Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

Raphael Assuncao is seeking a new fight for his return to the Octagon, and he wants a five-round bout.

Initially expected to face off against Francisco Rivera at UFC 170 in Las Vegas, Nev., the Brazilian bantamweight announced on Monday that "Cisco" is hurt and won’t be able to fight on Feb. 22.

"My opponent Francisco Rivera is out of the fight with a broken hand," Assuncao tweeted on Monday. "Who would you like to see me fight?"

The UFC hasn’t officially announced the injury yet, but Assuncao told MMAFighting.com that he was informed of Rivera's over the weekend.

Assuncao (21-4) is 5-0 since dropping to the bantamweight division, and a win over Rivera could earn him a shot at the 135-pound title against fellow Brazilian Renan Barao, who defeated Urijah Faber at UFC 169.

"I want my shot against Barao," Assuncao told MMAFighting.com. "I’m the only undefeated bantamweight that hasn’t fought for the title yet. I’m the No. 3 in the division. I’ll ask the boss for this fight.

"Dominick (Cruz) is hurt. Urijah (Faber), Eddie Wineland and Michael McDonald already fought Barao, and I can do a different fight with him."

Assuncao revealed he doesn’t expect to compete at UFC 170 even if he doesn’t end up getting a title shot due to a shoulder injury, and says the timing is perfect for a championship fight.

"Barao is not hurt after this last fight, and I can give him a different challenge," he said. "I hurt my shoulder and did physical therapy for over a month, and would have to completely change my camp for a new fight now (at UFC 170). It would be great to have a full camp now and challenge Barao for the title."

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