Who’s next for the UFC bantamweight title?
Raphael Assuncao, the last man to beat current 135-pound titleholder T.J. Dillashaw, was hoping for a shot at the gold after winning five straight in the bantamweight division, but UFC president Dana White said a rematch between Dillashaw and Renan Barao is "probably" next.
Dillashaw vs. Barao II is not official yet, and Assuncao is still hoping for his title shot. He’s not confident he’ll get it, though.
"I was not confident that they would give me the title shot. Unfortunately, they might do an immediate rematch, which is bad for me," Assuncao told MMAFighting.com. "I beat the champion already and I deserve the title shot. It makes sense."
"They have yet to get back to me on this," he continued. "I sent the UFC my exams 10 days ago and they didn’t get back to me yet. I’m still waiting."
Dillashaw, who dominated and finished Barao at UFC 173, agrees with Assuncao.
"He's on the longest win streak, he should be the next one in line, probably. And I'd like to get that fight back," Dillashaw said of Assuncao on The MMA Hour in May.
Assuncao, who defeated Dillashaw in Brazil, still hopes White changes his mind and makes that rematch instead of Barao’s for the bantamweight championship.
"Anything can happen," Assuncao said. "It’s a fight that makes sense. Barao was the champion and became more popular in Brazil, but he’s not that popular here in the United States. I don’t think Dillashaw vs. Barao would be that different from Dillashaw vs. Assuncao in terms of sales. I deserve my shot."
Assuncao returned to training after recovering from a rib injury, and he doesn’t know what would be next if he doesn’t get a shot at Dillashaw.
"I see many possible scenarios," he said. "If the (Dillashaw) fight doesn’t happen, I will sit with my team and study the possibilities."