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Raphael Assuncao forced to undergo ankle surgery after all

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Raphael Assuncao's injury woes continues.

The bantamweight contender will undergo surgery on his right ankle this Thursday in Atlanta, his manager Danny Rubenstein informed MMAFighting.com. Assuncao injured the same ankle back in December but was told he did not need surgery. However, he was recently forced to go back in a boot after he was informed he rushed back to training too soon and the ankle didn't properly heal. After several weeks in a boot, he was then informed by doctors that he would require surgery after all.

The Brazilian, who has won his last seven fights in a row but has not fought since Oct. 2014, could have been next in line for a title shot after Dominick Cruz suffered another torn ACL late last year. He now hopes to return to action by the end of 2015, if all goes well following this week's surgery.

Assuncao holds the distinction of being one of two men to hold a win over current 135-pound champion T.J. Dillashaw, who he defeated via split decision in Oct. 2013.