LAS VEGAS – As long as he can still hang with the best, Raphael Assuncao will continue fighting.

Looking to snap a three-fight losing skid, Assuncao (27-8 MMA, 11-5 UFC) faces Ricky Simon (18-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) on Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 199 main card. The 39-year-old returns for the first time since June 2020. It’s been a tough road back for the Brazilian, who saw multiple fights canceled after getting into a car accident, sustaining an elbow injury, tearing his bicep and battling COVID.

But despite the rough year, Assuncao is not ready to slow down just yet. His losses have come to elite-level competition and the perennial contender will assess his future based on his performances in the gym and the cage.

“I’ve got three more fights left on my contract, so it’s really hard to put it in words and put it in perspective. But it just feels good,” Assuncao told MMA Junkie at UFC Fight Night 199 media day. “I’m not bragging, but my physicality just gives me a little bit of motivation just because of what I’ve been able to do: get on my diet, heal from surgery, get right back in and get strong again, doing my strength and conditioning, being the last guy to leave the gym every day and going with the younger guys. It feels pretty good still.

“I’m not done yet. But also I want to be realistic to where I stand in the scale of the best fighters in the world. If I get in the gym and I can’t get sparring sessions, I can’t roll with the guys anymore, I want to be realistic. When that time comes, I will hang up my gloves and find something else to do at that point but right now, I still feel pretty good.”

UFC Fight Night 199 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The card streams on ESPN+.

Watch the full media day interview with Assuncao in the video above.


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