by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com
Manny Gamburyan had success as a lightweight fighter, making it to the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 5, but dropping to the featherweight division and jumping for the Ultimate Fighting Championship to World Extreme Cagefighting was a move he knew he was going to have to make.
“155 was pretty big for me. When I fought Thiago Tavares I felt like he had 20-25 pounds on me. I felt like, wow, this is not fair. I think I should drop to 145,” Gamburyan told MMAWeekly.com. “When Joe Silva called me for the WEC, I was down to do it because I felt like 145 was a better weight class for me.”
Gamburyan won his WEC and featherweight debut against John Franchi at WEC 41 in June and now gets a fight with Leonard Garcia at WEC 44 on Nov. 18 and feels a win will put him exactly where he wants to be, a contender in the 145-pound division.
“When I talked to Sean Shelby about this fight, I wanted top-notch guys, number one, two, three guys,” said the 28-year old fighter. “I want to be champion of my weight class so you can’t fight anybody else. I think Leonard is a good opponent for me.”
“This is a fight that’s going to put me where I want,” he said. “He’s a top-notch guy. He’s been around at 145. He’s fought for the belt. Like I said, he’s hungry too. He wants that belt. He wants to fight the winner of Mike Brown or Jose Aldo, but at the same time I’m hungrier. I want that belt.”
“He’s a gamer. He’s been around for a long time. He’s been in the UFC. He’s been around. He’s fought good guys. He’s pretty tough,” added Gamburyan. I know it’s going to be a tough fight and I’m ready for a war.”