You can add Manny Gamburyan’s name to the ever growing list of fighters migrating to the WEC’s stacked featherweight division.
Gamburyan, who is coming off a split decision loss to Thiago Tavares at UFC 94, has finally made the call to drop down a weight class after suffering a second consecutive defeat.
A cousin to UFC welterweight Karo Parisyan, Gamburyan made a surprising run all the way to the finals of season five of The Ultimate Fighter, where he lost due to injury to Nate Diaz has been fighting at a disadvantage for some time now.
The Armenian-American told MMAWeekly.com that he wasn’t sure how hard the cut was going to be and that he hadn’t fought at 145 in almost 10 years but he had plans on doing it right and having a successful camp.
Gamburyan said he was approached last summer prior to his UFC 87 bout vs. Rob Emerson by the UFC’s co-owners Lorenzo & Frank Fertitta about making the jump to the UFC’s sister promotion.
He initially declined but began to reconsider as time went on. Gamburyan went on to say that he wanted to settle some unfinished business with Nate Diaz and Sean Sherk and then make the move but his decision was expedited following the loss to Tavares.
Gamburyan said he still has plans on fighting at lightweight again but realizes the many opportunities fighting in the WEC’s marquee division has to offer. He mentioned WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown, Leonard Garcia, Urijah Faber and Jens Pulver as potential opponents.
Gamburyan also added that he feels he’ll be a lot stronger and quicker fighting at 145. Fighting at 155 was becoming more and more of a disadvantage come fight day he would be giving up close to 20 lbs. to his opponents and he was unable to deal with that at this time.
His WEC debut has yet to be announced but he expects to fight in either May or June.