Raphael Assuncao was expecting a big name fight, instead he got a UFC rookie.
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
When an injury sidelined his planned UFC 170 opponent, No. 3 ranked featherweight Raphael Assuncao suggested he should move right ahead into a title shot. Instead, he’s likely to be pushed into the extreme opposite direction, taking on a UFC newcomer.
Several news sources have reported that Assuncao will take on Pedro Munhoz, an undefeated 27-year-old Brazilian who trains out of Kings MMA in California. A source with knowledge of the situation told FOX Sports that the matchup is not yet finalized, but is indeed the intended direction of the promotion.
Munhoz is 10-0 with six of his wins coming via submission. He won the RFA bantamweight title in August, defeating decorated veteran Jeff Curran via split-decision. He went on to defend it by choking out Billy Daniels in just 41 seconds.
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He would be making his UFC debut on just two weeks’ notice.
Assuncao will be attempting to push his win streak to six straight. His most recent win came against T.J. Dillashaw last October, winning by split-decision. He’s yet to lose at bantamweight in pushing his career mark to 21-4.
He was originally scheduled to face No. 11 ranked Francisco Rivera, but a broken hand suffered in training camp forced Rivera out of the bout.
When finalized, the Assuncao-Munhoz addition will give UFC 170 11 bouts, headlined by a women’s bantamweight title match between Ronda Rousey and Sara McMann. The show takes place at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.