Raphael Assuncao wanted a shot at the title, but he’s getting a UFC newcomer instead.
Undefeated since cutting down to bantamweight, Assuncao asked for a chance against undisputed champion Renan Barao after Francisco Rivera pulled out of the UFC 170 card with an injury. However, sources close to the situation told MMAFighting.com that he is set to meet fellow Brazilian Pedro Munhoz at UFC 170 on Feb. 22 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Munhoz steps inside the Octagon for the first time with a perfect 10-0 record. The Black House and Kings MMA product last fought in a bantamweight title defense at Resurrection Fighting Alliance on Jan. 24, finishing Billy Daniels in 41 seconds.
Assuncao (21-4) was hoping that his 5-0 record in the bantamweight division would earn him a shot at the gold, but he will need to do more to get his chance against Barao. The Brazilian, who defeated the likes of Mike Easton and T.J. Dillashaw in his run at 135, hasn’t lost since 2011.
UFC 170 takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev., and features the women’s bantamweight championship fight between Ronda Rousey and Sara McMann in the main event.