T.J. Dillashaw vs. Raphael Assuncao rematch targeted for featured prelim bout at UFC 200

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

T.J. Dillashaw (photo credit Bob DeChiara © USA Today Sports)

T.J. Dillashaw won’t be sitting idle awaiting the UFC 199 winner between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber, and will instead attempt to avenge one of his few losses at UFC 200 on July 9.

According to a report from UFC Tonight, the UFC is targeting a fight between Dillashaw and Raphael Assuncao as the feature fight for the Fox Sports 1 prelims for the Las Vegas event. It’s a rematch of a fight from October 2013, which Assuncao edged by split decision.

Dillashaw had been on a four fight winning streak into that fight, and he rebounded well with a win over Mike Easton before taking advantage of a title opportunity against Renan Barao. He won the title, then defended it twice against Joe Soto and Barao in a rematch. He lost the belt in a split decision to the returning former champ in Cruz in January, though he had a very strong argument for being awarded the decision himself.

As for Assuncao, injury issues have kept him from capitalizing on the momentum of a seven fight winning streak, as he’s fought just twice since that October 2013 bout. Both were victories, as he defeated Pedro Munhoz and Bryan Caraway, but that most recent appearance came back in October of 2014.

UFC 200 takes place from the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, headlined by the Light Heavyweight Championship rematch between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier.

Penick’s Analysis: It’s a perfectly sensible fight since they booked Cruz-Faber III, and it’s a fight Dillashaw wants back himself. He deserves his rematch with Cruz, because he should have won that fight, and if he gets past Assuncao this time around he’ll be next in line. UFC 200 is still going to get another main card fight, so they’re not done building this yet.

[Photo (c) Bob DeChiara via USA Today Sports]

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