Raphael Assuncao might not be the only Assuncao in the Octagon in 2015. The bantamweight contender is going for his seventh win in a row against Bryan Caraway at UFC Fight Night 54 in October, and his twin brother Freddy Assuncao want to join him in the UFC.
Currently signed with World Series of Fighting, Freddy Assuncao extended his win streak to seven in a row in his WSOF debut in January, when he scored a close split-decision victory over Brenson Hansen.
"Unfortunately, I only fought once in two years," Assuncao told MMAFighting.com. "I had a knee surgery, ACL. I wish I had fought earlier this year, around June or July, but WSOF couldn’t get me a fight.
"My last fight was exactly one year after my knee surgery. I was still in pain," he continued. "I was cleared to train again in October, and I started a training camp in November to fight in January. My knee wasn’t 100 percent, I was still in pain, and I was afraid to get kicked in the knee, so the fight didn’t play out as I was expecting. But now I’m 100 percent and it’s going to be different."
Assuncao is negotiating his return to the cage at the WSOF 14 card in Alberta, Canada, on Oct. 11, but the deal is not finalized yet. "They gave me a few names, but it’s not signed yet," he said. "They have yet to tell me who I’m fighting, but I will fight in October."
The featherweight prospect, who holds a 8-1 record, has two fights left in his WSOF contract, and he’s hoping that UFC is next after two more bouts.
"My twin brother is there, my older brother (Junior Assuncao) fought there already. I want my chance in the UFC," he said. "I’m 32 years old and I don’t have much time to waste, this and that. I don’t fight to say ‘hey, look, I’m a MMA fighter, my life is cool.’ I fight to be the champion. If I win the last two fights on my contract, I will be on a nine-fight win streak, so I want the UFC."
It’s a goal, not an obsession.
"I can’t stop my life and wait for the UFC, though," he said. "If they don’t want me, I will stay at WSOF, go to Bellator, or fight in Japan. But the UFC is my goal."
Freddy Assuncao is not as experienced as his brothers Raphael and Junior, but the featherweight feels this is the right moment to enter the Octagon.
"I am ready," he said. "I train with my brothers and a few UFC fighters, and I go toe to toe with them every day. They have more experience than me, but we go at it in training. My brother is one of the best bantamweights in the world and we beat each other up every day. My level is really good. Give me two more fights and I’m ready."
Having a twin brother inside the Octagon might help him get a UFC deal, but it wasn’t always like that. Raphael Assuncao was already a WEC contender when his twin brother decided to make his MMA debut in 2009, so he had more attention over him.
"This family thing only gave me tougher fights, actually," he said. "My first MMA fight was against Felipe Arantes, who was 6-3 at that time. So being an Assuncao brother didn’t help me at all [laughs]."