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Raphael Assuncao willing to move up, fight Edgar vs. Faber winner

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Raphael Assuncao is 7-0 since cutting down to bantamweight, but doesn’t expect to fight for the title in his next bout.

The Brazilian veteran, who holds a win over UFC 135-pound champion T.J. Dillashaw on his record, finally recovered from an ankle injury and expects to be back inside the Octagon in August.

"I needed four months to recover," Assuncao told MMAFighting.com. "I spent a couple weeks in Brazil and that was the time I needed to heal completely. I’m at 90 percent now, training normally. I don’t know what’s next for me, but I want to fight in August, or early September. I want to fight right after Dillashaw vs. Barao, so I could be the next in line for the title. That’s my goal."

Dillashaw will put his title on the line against Renan Barao at UFC on FOX 16 on July 25, and Assuncao admits that it would be better for his title aspirations that Dillashaw remained with the gold.

"I don’t root for anyone, but I won’t deny that that would be better for me," he said. "Dillashaw winning is better for me because we already fought before and he talks a lot about that fight, saying that he won. I watched that fight several times, and I know that I won. It would be interesting to have this rematch for the title."

With wins over top 10 bantamweights Johnny Eduardo and Bryan Caraway, Assuncao doesn’t see a fight that makes sense for him in the division, and that’s why he’s looking at the 145-pound division.

Assuncao went 3-3 as a featherweight under the UFC and WEC banners, but would agree to move back up for a fight against the winner of Urijah Faber vs. Frankie Edgar, which headlines Saturday’s UFC card in Manila.

"I would love to fight the winner of Faber and Edgar, even at featherweight," he said. "Edgar is one of the best fighters in the world and Faber already defeated me, so it would be a great fight for me.

"It’s a dream fight. I would move up to fight any of them, absolutely. It would be cool. I would do this fight and then cut down and challenge the champion. That’s the perfect world for me."

Assuncao, who suffered a third-round submission loss to Faber in 2010, picks Edgar to win at UFC Fight Night 66.

"I think Edgar has more weapons to win, but Faber is really good on the ground," Assuncao said. "Faber’s striking in not perfect, but he can surprise you on scrambles and on the ground."

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