Assuncao was riding a six-fight winning streak into his second bout for Titan Fighting Championships, but was derailed by a torn anterior cruciate ligament. It’s an injury that keeps many athletes on the sidelines for several months, just ask UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, who has been out of commission for a year and a half since he tore his ACL.
Assuncao tore the ligament in training, helping one of his teammates prepare for an upcoming fight, so he had to pull out of Titan FC’s January event to seek treatment.
Not wanting to lose any more momentum than he had to, Assuncao sought out renowned surgeon John W. Xerogeanes – who is affectionately known as Dr. X by patients and staffers at Emory Sports Medicine – and a strong team of experts on rehabbing professional athletes.
He ended up going a slightly different route than Cruz, and the results thus far have been extremely encouraging.
“I made sure I wouldn’t make the same mistake UFC champ Dominick Cruz made,” said Assuncao. “Dr. X used an autograft tendon from my quadriceps. The healing is longer, but it’s from my own body; unlike Cruz, who used a cadaver tendon, which his body rejected after nine months of recovery.”
Assuncao is already about five weeks removed from surgery and says that his rehab has been going better than expected.
“I have been ahead of schedule compared to other athletes,” he told MMAWeekly.com. “So I think and hope to be clear to start training camp July or August. That’s six or seven months after surgery.”
Still staring at several more months of rehab, Assuncao doesn’t have any concrete plans yet for his return, but he is hungrier than ever to get back in the cage, and couldn’t be more resolute that he’s going to make it to the biggest stage in the sport.
“In another month or two, I’ll start shopping around for fights. I’m on a six-fight win streak, I’m 7-1, and I’m hungry for fights. I’m coming back to make a statement!” Assuncao declared.
“My plan is to win 2 more fights impressively this year, and get a UFC contract by year’s end.”
(Photo courtesy of Authentic Sports Management)