Junior Assuncao has won six consecutive fights. | Photo: Dave Mandel


Armed with a six-fight winning streak and the invaluable experience that comes with having dealt with adversity, Junior Assuncao wants a second crack at UFC glory.

The 30-year-old lost two of his three fights in the Octagon between October 2006 and September 2007 and readily admits he was ill-prepared for the challenges he faced at the time. A first-round submission defeat to “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 5 winner Nate Diaz at UFC Fight Night 11 cost him his spot on the UFC roster, but Assuncao, not easily dissuaded, has gone 7-1 since.

“When I first fought in the UFC, I was 4-1 with [only] one amateur fight,” Assuncao told Sherdog.com. “I think I’ve improved a lot. I had a full-time job then, so I think my first stint in the UFC was a little premature. I didn’t really know how to fight. Nowadays, I’m a full-time fighter, so that’s all I do.”

Since leaving the UFC, Assuncao has captured the vacant Xtreme Fighting Championships lightweight crown and competed for six different promotions. He last fought in March, when he submitted Cage Rage veteran Wesley Murch with a rear-naked choke in just 92 seconds at Recife Fighting Championship 4 in his native Brazil. Assuncao believes he has what it takes to succeed in the UFC.

“The UFC is a great organization with tons of good fighters,” he said. “I can guarantee I’ll contribute to great fights for the fans. There are other great organizations out there, but I have unfinished business with the UFC. When I left the UFC, I was 30 percent of the fighter I am now. It has been almost four years, so I have also matured a lot.”

Assuncao (12-4), a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and skilled capoeira practitioner, recently relocated to the American Top Team-affiliated Hardcore Gym in Athens, Ga., where he trains under Adam Singer and his brother, UFC veteran Rory Singer.

“I have known these guys for a long time,” Assuncao said. “We belong to the same jiu-jitsu bloodline -- Roberto Traven -- so it was an easy transition. I’ve been there for about seven months now.”

Assuncao has finished his last three foes inside one round as part of his career-best six-fight winning streak. His list of victims includes International Fight League veteran and “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 9 alum Mark Miller, whom he knocked out under the Recife Fighting Championship banner in December. Assuncao has tried to cover all his bases and even turned over his students to younger brother Freddy Assuncao, in order to dedicate himself fully to training. His other brother, 29-year-old Raphael Assuncao, currently competes in the UFC’s featherweight division.

“All of my energy is focused on training and staying in shape, so I can take a fight on short-notice if I have to,” he said. “I have been training full-time when I’m not supporting my brothers with their fights. I think I finally feel comfortable in the cage.”

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Kazunori Yokota Confident of Extending 15-Fight Winning Streak Against Marat Gafurov

  • 2 days ago
  • 11 views

Over the course of Kazunori Yokota’s 12-year, 33-fight career, the Japanese veteran has consistently found a way to win. He hopes to do it again on Friday. read news >>

While Roger Gracie Loves BJJ, His Heart is Set on Winning ONE Light Heavyweight Title

  • 26 days ago
  • 18 views

Following a nearly two year layoff, light-heavyweight Roger Gracie of the famed Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu clan is ready to return to MMA in a battle for the belt. read news >>

Chael Sonnen Weighs in on Kevin Costner’s Desire for Olympic MMA

  • 25 days ago
  • 35 views

On this episode of Beyond the Fight, Chael Sonnen weighs in on award winning actor Kevin Costner's desire to see mixed martial arts in the Olympics. read news >>

Mei Yamaguchi Says Winning a ONE Championship Title Would be Her Crowning Achievement

  • 23 days ago
  • 9 views

Mei Yamaguchi has been on the MMA scene for nearly a decade, but Friday’s ONE Championship title fight will be the biggest of her career. read news >>

Alan Stewart is on a Mission… to Keep the Fight Away from the Judges

  • 14 days ago
  • 6 views

Besides winning, Alan Stewart has another goal at Saturday night's Valor Fights 33, to keep the fight out of the hands of the judges. read news >>

Roger Gracie: Winning ONE Championship Belt Means More Than Any of His BJJ Titles

  • 6 days ago
  • 50 views

Despite his many accomplishments, Roger Gracie says, "Becoming the ONE light heavyweight world champion means more than all of my BJJ world titles." read news >>