UFC 170Download App

UFC 170: Pedro Munhoz Steps in vs. Raphael Assuncao on Late Notice

Raphael Assuncao, left, in action against Mike Easton during a mixed martial arts bout at a UFC on FOX event in Seattle, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. Assuncao won via a 3-round unanimous decision.  (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press
Riley KontekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2014

UFC lost one of its most important bouts in terms of title contention when Francisco Rivera bowed out against Raphael Assuncao, but the Brazilian contender has picked up a new opponent, according to Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com.

Assuncao now takes on RFA Bantamweight Champion and top 135-pound prospect Pedro Munhoz, a guy who can make an immediate impact in the division. If Assuncao can get by this new opponent, one has to assume he is the top contender to Renan Barao.

Assuncao had call outs from former WEC champ and UFC contender Eddie Wineland and former opponent T.J. Dillashaw, both of whom the Brazilian blew off in favor of calling for a title shot. That obviously did not materialize, as Assuncao will still have to earn a crack at the best 135-pounder in the world.

He does not get an easy opponent at UFC 170, though, as Munhoz has proven to be a legit fighter in a division begging for added depth.

At 10-0, Munhoz owns six wins by way of submission and has only gone to decision three times. Though he is mainly a grappler, he has been working with Black House and Kings MMA to tighten up his striking, which has looked better in recent outings.

He hasn't been fighting chumps, either. He owns victories over WSOF veteran Pablo Alfonso, Bellator tournament vet Mitch Jackson, previously undefeated Billy Daniels and MMA pioneer and UFC-WEC vet Jeff Curran.

He actually presents a similar style to that of Assuncao, as both men are strong grapplers with developing striking ability. This could make for an interesting fight.

Munhoz gets this fight on about two weeks' notice. His last fight was at the end of January, where he choked out Daniels in 41 seconds to maintain his undefeated status.

Assuncao, on the other hand, got a full training camp for this fight, though it was preparing for a striker in Rivera. He will have the benefit of working with that training and coming in with all his tools sharpened.

This bout will be featured on the Fox Sports 1 prelims, which lead into the pay-per-view. Stay tuned for more news on this card as it becomes available.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices