Junior Assuncao “Ready for UFC return this Weekend”
Last Updated on Monday, 19 September 2011 08:36
Written by PunchDrunkGamer
Monday, 19 September 2011 08:36
Junior Assuncao “Ready for UFC Return this Weekend”
This weekend Junior Assuncao returns to the UFC when he takes on former TPF champion Eddie Yagin in a featherweight bout on the undercard of UFC 135. Assuncao’s first UFC run began when he only owned a 4-1 mixed martial arts record. In his UFC debut Assuncao, who owned a previous victory over Dustin Hazelett, lost by submission to Kurt Pellegrino.
Assuncao was able to rebound with a submission victory over David Lee, but was stopped by The Ultimate Fighter 5 winner Nate Diaz. Following the loss Assuncao was released by Zuffa, but has since compiled an impressive 7-1 record – with the sole loss ending as a controversial decision.
Assuncao returns to the Octagon riding a six-fight win streak, including wins over TUF alum Mark Miller and one-time Bellator veteran Kelvin Hackney.
PDG’s Justin Bolduc caught up with Assuncao to discuss his upcoming fight and his return to the UFC.
PDG: This weekend you return to the UFC against former Tachi Palace Fighting champion Eddie Yagin. Tell us what you think about your opponent and what you have done to prepare for him.
Junior Assuncao: Yes, sir! It’s been a long road back to the UFC. My opponent is solid, I respect everyone I fight before the fight but inside I put my style to work.
PDG: I know that you have recently mentioned that your first UFC experience happened too early in your career. Tell us how you feel you have changed since then and what you think of this second opportunity.
Junior Assuncao: Now it’s a different time in my life. I train full time and as the sport evolved [so did I]. September 24th I’m gonna show everyone.
PDG: The UFC has recently made preliminary fights free for fans to watch worldwide. Whereas previously it would be difficult or unlikely to see your bout on this weekend’s upcoming card, how do you feel about the free fight exposure given by the UFC’s Facebook stream?
Junior Assuncao: I think [it is] great to be live on Facebook. My family in Brazil will be watching it live.
PDG: For those that are unfamiliar with you, do you mind telling us about your background and how you became involved in mixed martial arts?
Junior Assuncao: I started training Capoeira when I was 14 in Miami with Mestre Delei, then started jiu-jitsu when I moved to Atlanta.
PDG: Tell us more about your Capoeira background and how it has impacted your career.
Junior Assuncao: It’s my stand-up way of fighting, it’s the way I know how to fight.
PDG: What is it like having a brother also competing at the top of the sport?
Junior Assuncao: It’s great to have my brothers competing also in MMA.
PDG: What are some things that you like to do outside of martial arts?
Junior Assuncao: Swimming everyday, man!
PDG: From a fan’s perspective, who are some of your favorite fighters to watch?
Junior Assuncao: Lyoto Machida and my brothers!
PDG: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, Junior.
Junior Assuncao: Thanks for your time.
Stay tuned for PDG’s UFC 135 event preview and live event coverage!