Raphael Assuncao has reportedly broken a UFC record previously held by MMA legend Urijah Faber. The veteran Brazilian fighter’s most recent fight transpired at tonight’s (March 11th, 2023) UFC Fight Night 221 event. Assuncao faced Davey Grant in a bantamweight bout at the event.
The 37-year-old Grant ended up defeating the 40-year-old Assuncao via technical submission courtesy of a reverse triangle choke in the third and final round of their showdown. Following the grueling fight, Assuncao announced his retirement from the sport of MMA.
In the aftermath of Raphael Assuncao’s aforementioned fight, the ESPN MMA Twitter account put forth a tweet highlighting the fact that the Brazilian MMA stalwart has broken Urijah Faber’s bantamweight record for most fight time in UFC bantamweight history. ESPN MMA’s tweet regarding the same read as follows:
“Raphael Assunção now has 3:44:19 of total fight time in the UFC, passing Urijah Faber for the most in bantamweight history #UFCLasVegas”
Presently, the fighter with the most fight time in UFC history, irrespective of weight class, happens to be Brazilian-American UFC mainstay Rafael dos Anjos. RDA, who’s a former UFC lightweight champion and is still an active UFC fighter, boasts 8:01:49 of fight time inside the octagon thus far.
Could Urijah Faber break Raphael Assuncao’s record for most fight time in UFC bantamweight history?
UFC bantamweight legend and former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber had initially retired from MMA after his win over Brad Pickett in December 2016. However, he subsequently ended his retirement and returned to beat Ricky Simon via first-round TKO in July 2019.
That said, the MMA great lost his next fight. ‘The California Kid’ suffered a third-round KO defeat against Petr Yan in December 2019. Faber hasn’t competed in an MMA bout since losing to Yan. However, the 43-year-old hasn’t completely ruled out potentially fighting again.
In 2020, Urijah Faber spoke to Ag Fight and explained that he signed a new contract with the UFC, keeping the door open for a possible comeback. ‘The California Kid’ stated:
“I told Dana I don’t want the temptation from all the other companies when I return from retirement. So we renegotiated the contract. I still have some fights left, but it doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll do one of them. We’ll see what opportunities come up. I’ll stay in shape, go to the gym and have fun.” (*translation courtesy: bloodyelbow.com)
Considering the aforementioned variables at play, it’s likely that Faber might return to the octagon someday and possibly surpass the recently-retired Raphael Assuncao’s record for most fight time in UFC bantamweight history. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen.