Assuncao gets nod over Dillashaw

There was a lot of talk heading into

href="http://msn.foxsports.com/ufc/story/maia-vs-shields-fight-blog-100913"

target="_blank">UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Shields about

bantamweight prospect TJ Dillashaw, who carried the weight of a 14

fight win streak for his camp at Team Alpha Male into the Octagon

on Wednesday night, but veteran competitor Raphael Assuncao had

other ideas about letting them see No. 15.

A former lightweight and featherweight contender, Assuncao has

seen all sides of the fight game and he came face to face with

adversity in the early going against Dillashaw, who put the

pressure on and tried to finish the fight in the first round.

Dillashaw used his quickness and wrestling ability to snag a

takedown, and eventually landed on Assuncao’s back looking for the

rear naked choke. Eventually, the Sacramento based fighter settled

for a neck crank instead and with Assuncao grimacing in pain, it

looked like he might get the finish.

Assuncao wasn’t about to go down in his home country of Brazil,

so he willed his way out of the hold and made it to the end of the

round. In the second, Assuncao came storming out of the gates with

a crisp striking attack and perfect timing.

Each time Assuncao lept forward he was met with punches from

Assuncao — one of which left his nose bleeding like a busted

faucet. As the fight wore on, both competitors started to slow down

a bit, but Assuncao’s ability to land his strikes, which previous

to this fight he was only hitting at 44.8-percent accuracy,

eventually made all the difference.

As close as any fight in recent memory, the judges returned two

scorecards in favor of Assuncao at 29-28 giving him the win, with

the third official scoring it 29-28 for Dillashaw.

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Remaining undefeated at bantamweight with a perfect 5-0 record,

Assuncao now moves into title contention with his victory over

Dillashaw. He could very easily score a match with the winner of

the upcoming fight between Urijah Faber and Michael McDonald at UFC

on Fox: Pettis vs. Thomson with the victor getting that elusive

title shot in 2014.

The loss drops Dillashaw to 9-2 in his young career, but will

serve as a valuable lesson for what it takes to jump into the deep

end of the top ten of the division.