UFC bantamweight contender Raphael Assuncao believes he has what it takes to beat the champion TJ Dillashaw for the second time in his career. Before “The Viper” took the belt from Renan Barao at UFC 173, most expected the Brazilian grappling ace to get the nod. Obviously the upset win from TJ really shook things up, and Assuncao finds himself booked in a dangerous UFC Fight Night 54 pairing with Bryan Caraway.

Assuncao is unbeaten at 135 pounds, and has scored six straight wins since dropping in weight back in 2011. The Ascension MMA product beat Dillashaw by split decision in Fight Night Barueri back in 2013, and has been quite vocal about his standing in the UFC rankings. He was number one for some time before Dillashaw got the nod to fight the champion of the time Barao, and Assuncao believes he is next in line still.

Check out what the Brazilian had to say about not getting the call to replace poorly ex-champ Renan Barao at UFC 177 while talking with MMAFighting.com:

“To begin with, that should have been my fight. The UFC knows that, everybody knows that, I’m not getting any younger, so this is my time. I’m feeling physically better, more mature, so things are getting together. I give Joe Soto some credit for taking the fight, but he didn’t do anything in the fight,” he continued. “He was throwing some overhands, but not doing much. He had no planned attacks, no game plan. With all due respect to Joe Soto, he took the fight on short notice, but he didn’t do anything at all.”

It has to be said that Soto was clearly overmatched at UFC 177, but the promotion was backed in to a corner when the former champion Barao feinted before the weigh-ins due to a harsh weight cut. Assuncao coninued:

“Nobody called me,” he said. “They know I wouldn’t have been able to make weight. I’m short, but I have some weight to cut. I was around 155 pounds that day, so I wouldn’t be able to cut to fight at 135. Maybe I would have taken a catchweight, but the title wouldn’t be on the line. T.J. did (against Soto) exactly what he did against Barao and me. He hasn’t changed a bit in his game,” he said. “Maybe he has a better cardio now, changed his movement a bit, but it’s the same thing in terms of fighting.”

I’d actually be much more interested in seeing Assuncao get the next shot, as opposed to him taking on Bryan Caraway on October 4th. As is the norm with these things, nothing is as you’d expect or hope it to be.

“It bothers me, and he keeps talking a lot. I think he wants to give himself some confidence by talking. He made fun of Barao, too. He was disrespectful, but it won’t work against me. I live in the United States for years. No one has to translate anything for me. If he says something to me, I’ll be looking right into his eyes. When I fought him, he said some things before the fight, but when we met in Sao Paulo he had no idea what to do. Deep in there, T.J. knows it will be different when he fights me. His game won’t work against me, and he knows that.”

“I will let the UFC know that I won’t accept any other fight but a title fight after I beat Caraway. I’m not interested in any other fight, and I won’t fight anyone else.”

After winning what would be seven straight, if he beats Caraw in Halifax, do you think Assuncao is right in turning down anything else but a title shot? Johny Hendricks built up a 10-1 promotional record before he received a title shot, although he did complain a few times, so what makes Assuncao any different?