by Mitch Gobetz – MMAWeekly.com
Manvel “The Anvil” Gamburyan is looking to work his way to the top of the UFC’s lightweight division. He won his last two fights in the Octagon and is looking to build on that momentum in his upcoming fight against Rob Emerson at UFC 87 in Minneapolis.
Gamburyan was a finalist in season five of the Ultimate Fighter and had an excellent chance of defeating Nate Diaz. In fact, he was winning the fight until he shot in for a take down and separated his shoulder forcing him to tap out. After taking time off to heal his shoulder, Gamburyan has finished both Nate Mohr and Jeff Cox inside of one round.
The Anvil took some time out of his training to discuss his fight with MMAWeekly.com. “Training camp is going awesome,” said Gamburyan. “It’s very, very good. Everything is going great. I can’t wait.”
He has been training in all aspects of the game. “I’m just working hard every single day doing my thing. Lifting, conditioning, running, jiu-jitsu, wrestle, box. So far, so good.”
Happy to be fighting again so soon, Gamburyan wants to stay very active and keep the momentum going. “I don’t want to take a break, because once you’re on a roll, you want to fight all the time because when you take too much of a break, look what happens. Look what happened to Rampage. He took too much of a break between times. When you’re healthy and ready to go, you can fight every two months.”
Gamburyan is a smaller fighter for the lightweight division and could more than likely fight at 145 pounds. Even though he has no immediate plans to drop in weight, he is not shy about taking a fight against current World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champion Urijah Faber.
“I have a lot of respect for Urijah,” commented Gamburyan. “He’s an awesome fighter. But if I have to fight him eventually, I’m not going to back down to anybody. You put me in there and I’ll fight.”
Even though Gamburyan walks around at a smaller weight, he could gain weight, but he prefers to stay lighter. “If I wanted to gain weight, I can gain weight easily,” he explained. “I could easily walk around at 170 or 175. I just don’t want to eat unhealthy. I always want to eat healthy and train as hard as I can all the time.”
It’s rare to see a fighter that competes solely because he just loves to fight. Gamburyan is that type of guy, which is part of the reason he is such an exciting fighter. “I love fighting. I’ve been fighting my whole life. Any time I get a call from my manager, it’s the greatest thrill ever.”
Fans may be in for a thrill on Saturday night when Gamburyan will take on fellow Ultimate Fighter alumna Rob Emerson, who is coming off of a split decision victory over Keita Nakamura. Both fighters are very aggressive, which often has a recipe for an exciting fight.
“It’s a great match-up. I’m going to try to do my thing. He’s going to try to do his thing. He’s a tough guy. I’m not going to take anything away from him,” said Gamburyan. “He’s a good striker. His jiu-jitsu is not on my level, but he’s going to train hard for me. I know he’s going to train hard on his take down defense. He’s going to work on his ground game. I’m going to try to whoop his ass.”
Some fighters like to have a solid formulated game plan going into a fight, however Manvel likes to just go into a fight aggressive and go from there. “I have no game plan. My game plan is to put pressure on you for 15 minutes. That’s my game plan. If it goes for one round, awesome. Two rounds, awesome. Three rounds, it sucks.
“I hate the judge’s decision,” continued Gamburyan. “Some judges only know boxing. Some judges only know wrestlers or jiu-jitsu. Hopefully, my next fight won’t go to the judge’s decision. I’ve been training very hard.”
Emerson is a tough fighter and shouldn’t be taken lightly. At this stage of his career, Gamburyan believes that no fighter should be underestimated. He doesn’t train for any one person more than the other.
“You should never underestimate anybody in the UFC. If you underestimate anybody, you aren’t going to go far,” remarked the lightweight fighter. “You always have to train hard everyday like you’ve never trained before. I would never underestimate somebody. Whether I’m fighting BJ Penn or Rob Emerson, it doesn’t matter. I train hard every single day.”
Gamburyan’s great work ethic will probably get him far in the sport and he is ready to take on all challengers in the lightweight division. “I would love to fight anybody at 155. I don’t care. I know I’m the shortest guy, the littlest guy. I bring the fireworks every time.”