The Body Lock MMA Bantamweight Rankings - Raphael Assuncao

UFC 241 is beginning to really take shape as another fantastic fight has been added to the line-up. This time at 135-pounds.

ESPN’s Ariel Helwani confirmed on Wednesday that a pivotal bantamweight clash between top five staple, Raphael Assuncao (27-6) and rising prospect turned contender, Cory Sandhagen (11-1) will do battle on the big August 17 fight date.

Sandhagen will come into the bout fresh off the biggest win of his career. At UFC Fort Lauderdale late last month, the 27-year old Aurora, Colorado native would defeat perennial top contender in John “Hands of Stone” Lineker via split decision. The win would extend his current streak to six straight (four in the UFC).

For one of the more underrated and underappreciated fighters the MMA world has ever seen in Brazil’s Assuncao, he last fought in a big title contender rematch in February. Unfortunately, this time around when he met with Marlon Moraes, his fellow Brazilian would best him in the opening round with a guillotine submission victory. The loss would snap a four-fight winning streak and go down as only Assuncao’s second of his career at 135-pounds (11-2 in the division).

A win for Assuncao will be big as it keeps him at the top of the heap in the exceedingly great bantamweight division. For Sandhagen, he would further inch towards a potential crack at gold. But it will be no easy task as Assuncao has proven for everyone he’s faced over the course of the last eight years. His lone losses are to the aforementioned Moraes and former champion, TJ Dillashaw. He also has wins over both men.

UFC 241 is still being built but it’s off to an excellent start with the following three fights already on tap.

  • Heavyweight – 207-265lbs: (C)Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic
  • Middleweight – 185lbs: Yoel Romero vs. Paulo Costa
  • Welterweight – 170lbs: Anthony Pettis vs. Nate Diaz

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