"I want to show my style against everyone else's style, especially Renan Barao," Easton told MMAjunkie.com Radio (MMAjunkie.com
). "Oh, man. That's a dream matchup for me. Everyone always talks about his standup, and he comes from a legit camp – trains with legit guys – their standup is good, their jiu-jitsu is good, their takedown defense is very good. I feel as though I want to fight those types of guys because that's also my style, as well: to stand up and bang."
Easton, known for his excitability and high-energy approach to the sport, made his UFC debut in October 2011 with a second-round TKO win over Byron Bloodworth. He then scored a majority decision win over Jared Papazian in January before earning a unanimous nod over Ivan Menjivar at this past July's UFC 148 event.
Following his latest win, Easton wasn't exactly his normal self, and "The Hulk" admits it's simply because he didn't get the firefight for which he had hoped.
"I'm always excited about a win, but Ivan Menjivar is known to be a banger, and he didn't do that," Easton said. "Truth be told, he felt my power, and he started to run. And it's nothing against Ivan Menjivar. He's an incredible fighter. He's awesome. But he felt the power that I have, and it changed his whole gameplan.
"For me, I was a little frustrated because I need to work on closing the distance even more so I can get my finishes like I want."
And that's precisely why Easton would love to Barao, the 25-year-old Brazilian with an incredible 29-fight unbeaten streak.
"I'm the hardest-hitting 135-pounder in the world, and that's hands down," Easton said. "People are running for a reason. Those high-level guys, they're not going to run. That gives me my chance and my opportunity to show what I'm about."
First, of course, Easton will have to get through Assuncao, which has proven no easy task at 135 pounds. The Brazilian suffered through a 1-3 stretch at featherweight but has since dropped down a weightclass and posted back-to-back wins over Issei Tamura and Johnny Eduardo.
Add in the fact that Assuncao is now the third opponent for which Easton has trained, and that could add difficulty to an already challenging task. However, Easton insists it has no bearing on the fight.
"My job is to fight," Easton said. "My job is to perform, and that's what I'm going to do. It doesn't matter who they put on front of me. I'm just doing what I need to do so I can get closer to that belt."
With today's news that UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz is going back on the shelf for as many as nine more months, the upper tanks of the bantamweight division are currently in a bit of a disarray. It appears young slugger Michael McDonald could be next for Barao, but the UFC has yet to make an official announcement. And if Cruz is indeed out for another extended period, the winner of that fight could need another challenger.
Sporting an eight-fight win streak, Easton hopes he's able to put himself into that talk. A statement win over Assuncao just might do the trick.
"Being in the UFC, I'm just soaking it up," Easton said. "I'm soaking every fight up. I'm loving training. I'm enjoying the camps. Camps are very, very hard, but I am thoroughly enjoying the camps. I'm living my dream, and there's not too many people out there that can say they're living their dream. I'm living it, and I'm loving it, and I'm enjoying it. I'm blessed, and I thank God every day for it.
"I have my face on a UFC magazine, just huge, right next to the UFC belt, and it's something that I see every single day. I'm always looking for that, but I just take it one fight at a time."