Raphael Assuncao: Ascension from the South

(Assuncao sticks Massouh at WEC 40)

Though victorious in his last bout against Jameel Massouh at WEC 40, some question Raphael Assuncao’s prospects in the WEC’s featherweight division. Assuncao stands 5’5”, a distinct disadvantage when many of the best fighters in the division stand 5’7” or better. But Assuncao will carry a 13-1 record into the cage at WEC 43 when he takes on Georges St-Pierre training partner Yves Jabouin.

FIGHT!: What’s your game plan for the fight against Yves Jabouin?
Raphael Assuncao: The game plan – I’m going to keep it in silence for the moment, however I’ll be ready for any occasion.

FIGHT!: What’s your training regimen and schedule?
Raphael Assuncao: I’ve been training three times a day, running in the morning with two or three miles to start the day. I do stand up in the afternoon and grappling at night.

FIGHT!: Yves has been training at Tri-Star gym, home to GSP, are you worried?
Raphael Assuncao: Not worried where he has trained or is training with, but definitely taking it serious and professional.

FIGHT!: Who have you been training with for this fight?
Raphael Assuncao: Mainly, I’ve been training with my first coach ever – Manu Ntoh. Most of everybody here in Atlanta knows him. He’s a four-time world champion in muay Thai. I’ve also been training with my brothers and other partners at Ascension Martial Arts in Atlanta.

FIGHT!: Manu is very big in the Atlanta fight scene. Other than his influences, how else would you describe the Atlanta scene?
Raphael Assuncao: I feel the fight scene here in Atlanta is not very developed in all different aspects that will be tough explaining. For an instance, there are beginners and non-qualified individuals involved in the scene when they shouldn’t be.

FIGHT!: Atlanta’s fight scene can be “cliquey,” from my experience. Do you train at other gyms other than Ascension?
Raphael Assuncao: With my status, I am able to train in different gyms due to the professionalism that I bring and try to bring to every training session. People see that in other gyms, but I definitely have a limitation and barrier in who and where I train and who I associate with in the sport.

FIGHT!: I read you want to retire at 34, why? What will be next in your career?
Raphael Assuncao: Yeah 34,35 maybe 36 and then I want to pursue other challenges that I don’t know, yet. I know that right now all that is on my mind is fighting, my friend.

Assuncao will face Jabouin at WEC 43 Cerrone vs. Henderson, scheduled to take place on Oct. 10 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

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