Raphael O. Assunção (born July 19, 1982) is a Brazilian mixed martial artist who competes in the Bantamweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). As of January 30, 2017, he is #4 in the official UFC bantamweight rankings and #6 by sherdog.com.
Originally from Recife in Brazil, now lives and trains in Atlanta with Ascension MMA under Manu N'toh. He is also the brother of Júnior Assunção and Freddy Assunção who also fight as mixed martial artists. Raphael has a daughter.
Mixed martial arts career
World Extreme Cagefighting
Assunção joined the WEC in 2009, with a 12-1 professional record. He made his promotional debut on April 5, 2009 at WEC 40 against Jameel Massouh. He won the fight via unanimous decision.
He faced Yves Jabouin on September 2, 2009 at WEC 43. Assunção won the back and forth fight by split decision.
Assunção faced Urijah Faber on January 10, 2010 at WEC 46. Faber won the fight via third-round submission.
Assunção then faced Diego Nunes on June 20, 2010 at WEC 49. He lost the fight via split decision.
Assunção faced LC Davis on November 11, 2010 at WEC 52. Assunção won the fight via unanimous decision.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
On October 28, 2010, World Extreme Cagefighting merged with the Ultimate Fighting Championshipa. As part of the merger, all WEC fighters were transferred to the UFC.
Assunção was expected to face Manvel Gamburyan on March 19, 2011 at UFC 128, but Gamburyan was forced out of the bout with a back injury and replaced by Erik Koch. He lost the fight via KO in the first round.
Assunção next faced UFC newcomer Johnny Eduardo on August 27, 2011 at UFC 134. He won the fight via unanimous decision and was out up to 6 months with a possible nasal fracture.
Assunção faced Issei Tamura on July 11, 2012 at UFC on Fuel TV: Munoz vs. Weidman.v He won the fight via second-round TKO.
Assunção faced Mike Easton on December 8, 2012 at UFC on Fox 5, replacing an injured Bryan Caraway. He won the fight via unanimous decision despite suffering a broken arm during the first round.
Assunção faced Vaughan Lee on June 8, 2013 at UFC on Fuel TV 10. He won the fight via armbar submission in the second round.
Assunção was expected to face T.J. Dillashaw on September 4, 2013 at UFC Fight Night 28. However, the pairing was delayed and was rescheduled for a future event due to a minor medical issue for Assunção. The bout with Dillashaw was rescheduled and took place on October 9, 2013, at UFC Fight Night 29. Assunção defeated Dillashaw via split decision. The back and forth action earned both the participants Fight of the Night honors.
Assunção was expected to face Francisco Rivera at UFC 170. However, Rivera was forced from the bout due to a hand injury. Assunção instead faced touted UFC newcomer Pedro Munhoz. He won the fight via unanimous decision.
Assunção was briefly linked to a Bantamweight Championship bout against Renan Barão on May 24, 2014 at UFC 173. However, Assunção opted to decline the bout as a rib injury sustained in his last bout at UFC 170 had not healed enough to resume the proper training in advance of the event. Barão instead faced, and was ultimately defeated by T.J. Dillashaw.
Assunção faced Bryan Caraway on October 4, 2014 at UFC Fight Night: MacDonald vs. Saffiedine. He doubled the numbers of strikes Caraway threw and caught him with knees to win a unanimous decision victory.
On December 22, 2014, Assunção announced that he had suffered a broken ankle during training that would not require surgery, but is expected to be sidelined for up to 10 weeks.
A rematch with perennial contender Urijah Faber was expected to headline UFC Fight Night 62 on March 21, 2015. However, Assunção was forced out of the bout as an ankle first injured in mid-December 2014 was slow to heal and that he was unable to resume the proper training to prepare for the fight in that time frame. Subsequently, in August 2015, Assunção's management team announced that he would undergo surgery on the ankle and hoped to return by the end of the year.
A rematch with T.J. Dillashaw took place on July 9, 2016 at UFC 200. He lost the fight via unanimous decision.
Assunção was expected to face Aljamain Sterling on December 9, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 102. However, Sterling pulled out of the fight on November 23 citing injury. Assunção was subsequently removed from the card. The bout with Sterling was rescheduled and took place on January 28, 2017 at UFC on Fox 23. Assunção won the fight via split decision.
Assunção is expected to face Marlon Moraes on June 3, 2017 at UFC 212.
Championships and achievements
Mixed martial arts
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Fight of the Night (One time) vs. T.J. Dillashaw
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|29 matches||24 wins||5 losses|
|Win||24–5||Aljamain Sterling||Decision (split)||UFC on Fox: Shevchenko vs. Peña||000000002017-01-28-0000January 28, 2017||3||5:00||Denver, Colorado, United States|
|Loss||23–5||T.J. Dillashaw||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 200||000000002016-07-09-0000July 9, 2016||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||23–4||Bryan Caraway||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: MacDonald vs. Saffiedine||000000002014-10-04-0000October 4, 2014||3||5:00||Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|Win||22–4||Pedro Munhoz||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 170||000000002014-02-22-0000February 22, 2014||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||21–4||T.J. Dillashaw||Decision (split)||UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Shields||000000002013-10-09-0000October 9, 2013||3||5:00||Barueri, Brazil||Fight of the Night.|
|Win||20–4||Vaughan Lee||Submission (armbar)||UFC on Fuel TV: Nogueira vs. Werdum||000000002013-06-08-0000June 8, 2013||2||1:51||Fortaleza, Brazil|
|Win||19–4||Mike Easton||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Diaz||000000002012-12-08-0000December 8, 2012||3||5:00||Seattle, Washington, United States|
|Win||18–4||Issei Tamura||TKO (punches)||UFC on Fuel TV: Munoz vs. Weidman||000000002012-07-11-0000July 11, 2012||2||0:25||San Jose, California, United States|
|Win||17–4||Johnny Eduardo||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 134||000000002011-08-27-0000August 27, 2011||3||5:00||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||Bantamweight debut.|
|Loss||16–4||Erik Koch||KO (punch)||UFC 128||000000002011-03-19-0000March 19, 2011||1||2:32||Newark, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||16–3||L.C. Davis||Decision (unanimous)||WEC 52||000000002010-11-11-0000November 11, 2010||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||15–3||Diego Nunes||Decision (split)||WEC 49||000000002010-06-20-0000June 20, 2010||3||5:00||Edmonton, Alberta, Canada|
|Loss||15–2||Urijah Faber||Submission (rear-naked choke)||WEC 46||000000002010-01-10-0000January 10, 2010||3||3:49||Sacramento, California, United States|
|Win||15–1||Yves Jabouin||Decision (split)||WEC 43||000000002009-10-10-0000October 10, 2009||3||5:00||San Antonio, Texas, United States|
|Win||14–1||Jameel Massouh||Decision (unanimous)||WEC 40||000000002009-04-05-0000April 5, 2009||3||5:00||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Win||13–1||Joe Pearson||TKO (punches)||IHC 12: Resurrection||000000002008-11-08-0000November 8, 2008||1||0:12||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Win||12–1||Aaron Williams||Submission (armbar)||AFL: Eruption||000000002008-03-07-0000March 7, 2008||1||3:22||Lexington, Kentucky, United States|
|Win||11–1||Kevin Gittemeir||Decision (unanimous)||ISCF: Head-On Collision||000000002007-06-01-0000June 1, 2007||3||5:00||Kennesaw, Georgia, United States|
|Win||10–1||Tyler Grunwald||Submission (triangle choke)||ISCF: Battle of Rome 2||000000002007-04-21-0000April 21, 2007||1||0:56||Rome, Georgia, United States|
|Loss||9–1||Jeff Curran||Decision (majority)||XFO 13: Operation Beatdown||000000002006-11-11-0000November 11, 2006||3||5:00||Hoffman Estates, Illinois, United States|
|Win||9–0||James Birdsley||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Border Warz||000000002006-10-14-0000October 14, 2006||3||1:42||Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States|
|Win||8–0||Nick Mamalis||Submission (armbar)||ROF 26: Relentless||000000002006-09-09-0000September 9, 2006||1||3:35||Castle Rock, Colorado, United States|
|Win||7–0||Joe Lauzon||Submission (armbar)||Absolute Fighting Championships 15||000000002006-02-18-0000February 18, 2006||2||4:37||Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States|
|Win||6–0||William McGlothlin||Submission (guillotine choke)||Full Throttle 4||000000002005-09-09-0000September 9, 2005||2||3:58||Duluth, Georgia, United States|
|Win||5–0||Jorge Masvidal||Decision (unanimous)||Full Throttle 1||000000002005-04-21-0000April 21, 2005||3||5:00||Duluth, Georgia, United States|
|Win||4–0||Brandon Bledsoe||Submission (armbar)||ISCF: Compound Fracture 2||000000002005-02-04-0000February 4, 2005||1||2:31||Atlanta, Georgia, United States|
|Win||3–0||Chad Lawshe||Submission (guillotine choke)||ISCF: Compound Fracture||000000002004-10-15-0000October 15, 2004||1||0:54||Atlanta, Georgia, United States|
|Win||2–0||Scott Johnson||Submission (armbar)||ISCF: Anarchy in August 2||000000002004-08-07-0000August 7, 2004||1||2:41||Atlanta, Georgia, United States|
|Win||1–0||Chris Clark||TKO (punches)||ISCF: Friday Night Fight||000000002004-01-23-0000January 23, 2004||1||N/A||Atlanta, Georgia, United States|