by Tom Hamliin – MMAWeekly.com
A featherweight contest between Manny Gamburyan and John Franchi is nearly a done deal, with verbal agreements in place for WEC 41 on June 7.
MMAMadness was the first to report the proposed bout, and MMAWeekly.com subsequently confirmed it with sources close to the negotiations. Bout agreements should be signed in the coming days.
The fight is Gamburyan’s debut at featherweight after serving the bulk of his career at lightweight. A second consecutive loss to Thiago Tavares at UFC 94 sealed his move, one suggested to him as early as last summer by UFC owners Frank and Lorenzo Ferttita.
In an interview announcing the change, Gamburyan said it had been 10 years since he had fought at 145 pounds, but felt his five-foot-five-inch, 160-pound frame would not be the issue it was in the UFC, where his opponents often outweighed him by 15 pounds on fight night.
The 27-year-old North Hollywood resident carries a professional record of 8-4.
His opponent, John Franchi, will look to make his name against “The Ultimate Fighter” alum, extending his undefeated record to 6-0. The upstate New York resident made a successful WEC debut earlier this month, decisioning Mike Budnik at WEC 39. Franchi currently trains at Team Bomb Squad alongside UFC prospect Jon Jones.