Since launching his professional career in 1999, Manny Gamburyan has found himself constantly facing the same obstacle. Standing 5’5″ and sporting a compact frame, the Armenian fighter has almost always faced a disadvantage when it comes to size. With no choice but to fight at the 155-pound mark and above, Gamburyan had to learn to fight foes that were much taller and longer.
Although Gamburyan (10-5) steadily became a force at lightweight thanks to his ruthless ground and pound and world-class judo, The Ultimate Fighter® season five finalist knew that he’d be better suited to fight in a lighter weight class. He knew that he could become a world champion in a place where he can unleash his full arsenal. So Gamburyan did what many of the best lighter weight fighters in the world have done: he entered World Extreme Cagefighting®.
With a home for lighter weight fighters, Gamburyan knew that the fast-paced WEC featherweight division was the perfect fit. In short, he realized that he could be at his best in the WEC.
“At 155 I was pretty shredded, so at 145 I’ll be way shredded,” Gamburyan said, adding that the talent at featherweight makes it one of the world’s top divisions. “I’ll probably be able to overpower people more with my strength, but I’m still not going to fight with my muscles. I’ll fight with my head and use my techniques more than anything. My style is to always attack. I’m always going to attack you whether I get knocked out or knock you out.”
Gamburyan’s first bout at featherweight comes on June 7 on the undercard of Brown-Faber II at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California. Facing undefeated New York native John Franchi (5-0) in his 145-pound debut, the 27-year-old Hollywood resident hopes to make an emphatic statement. With a win over Franchi, Gamburyan wants to put the Browns, Fabers, Aldos, and Grispys of the division on notice.
“It’s a very talented group, a lot of talented guys out there,” Gamburyan said of the WEC’s stacked featherweight division. “But every time you fight you want to challenge yourself. I won’t choose my opponents. Whoever they choose for me to fight, I’m there. This time it’s John Franchi – and hopefully I can get past this guy and then whatever comes up. John’s going to have his hands full because I’m bringing my ‘A’ game. I’m going for the finish, that’s my game plan.”
Tickets for Brown vs. Faber II are on sale now and priced at $40, $75, $135, and $200. Tickets may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster Charge-By-Phone at 1-800-745-3000 or by visiting the ARCO Arena Box Office. Tickets also are available online through www.wec.tv or www.ticketmaster.com.
Presented by Bud Light®, Brown vs. Faber II will be televised nationally live on VERSUS beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. All of the network’s live WEC events are presented in HD and Spanish language SAP where available. For more information and how to find VERSUS in your local viewing area, visit http://www.versus.com/findversus.