Fight Week Previews: Raphael Assuncao vs. Yves Jabouin
Meet my solution to being unable to find suitable pictures of the fighters being previewed or discussed in my posts. Thanks to the fine folks at Fight Passport for having such an imposing looking creation on their web site.
Before getting the breakdown of what could be a very interesting and entertaining fight, this massive mound of muscle needs a name and you're going to give it to him. Submit entries in the comments section and the winner will be announced on Sunday when the WEC 43 edition of 10 Things I Learned Last Night rolls out.
The prize? A signed photo of yours truly to hang on your wall...or dartboard.
Raphael Assuncao (13-1-0) versus Yves Jabouin (14-4-0)
While the names may not be at all familiar to the casual fan and even some of the hardest of hardcore fans, let me assure you that both the boys will coming to fight on Saturday night.
Assuncao is currently the No. 8 ranked featherweight in the US Today/SB Nation Consensus Rankings and with good reason: His lone defeat came at the hands of talented veteran Jeff "Big Frog" Curran nearly three years ago and he holds victories over both Joe Lauzon and Jorge Masvidal.
While Jabouin does not possess any noteworthy names on his list of victims—the only household name he faced was a loss to Sam Stout May 2004—Jabouin is a member of the vaunted TriStar Gym in Montreal, home of Zahabi MMA and UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.
Rolling on a regular basis with the best welterweight in the world earns the Canadian the edge in associates, but Assuncao's resume is clearly more decorated, which means we're even through two rounds of analysis.
Jabouin will have a three inch height advantage and is additionally quicker in the cage than Assuncao, but the Brazilian is much more powerful than "The Tiger" and possesses a strong ground game to go along with solid stand-up.
Also working in Assuncao's favor heading into this fight is his experience under the lights of the WEC stage. While he has just one fight in the WEC thus far, it's one more fight than Jabouin has had and that can definitely play a part.
Where Assuncao is secure in knowing his future with the organization, a poor showing on the main card could turn the Canadian's first appearance with the company into his last and that pressure cannot be discounted.
That being said, expect Jabouin to show up ready for the fight of his life. TriStar is quickly establishing itself as one of the premier training camps in the sport and Jabouin is part of the future of the gym.
Whether you've heard of one, both or neither of these fighters before, you should definitely be tuning in as one, if not both, will be sure to make some noise in the WEC Featherweight division in 2010.
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