Once a lightweight competitor on The Ultimate Fighter 5, Manny Gamburyan is set to move down to the bantamweight division.
According to GlendaleNewsPress.com, Gamburyan is now booked to meet Cody Gibson at 135 pounds on September 27. The bout is likely headed to the preliminary card at UFC 178, a stacked event that will be held in Las Vegas.
Gamburyan (@MannyGamburyan) August 2, 2014
Gamburyan's decision to drop down a weight class comes on the heels of a loss to Nik Lentz. The Anvil would be on a two-bout losing skid, but a December 2013 loss to Dennis Siver was overturned to a no contest due to his opponent failing his drug screening.
Even with the loss to Siver being reversed, Gamburyan has posted a 2-3 record since returning to the UFC roster. So, the Armenian needed to make some changes to return to title contention, where he was during his WEC days.
Ultimately, it was nutritionist Mike Dolce who convinced Gamburyan to make the move to 135 pounds. It's not likely to be an effortless transition, but Gamburyan is confident he can make the weight, and it's hard to doubt him, as he never had any serious issues hitting 145 pounds.
“Is it gonna be an easy cut? No. It’s gonna be 30 pounds,” Gamburyan said. “But I can make it.”
The former WEC title challenger got his UFC start in the 155-pound division, where he was a TUF runner-up due to a shoulder injury suffered in his finals matchup against Nate Diaz in June 2007. After recording a 2-3 record in the promotion's lightweight division, Gamburyan moved to 145 pounds and joined the WEC ranks.
With three straight wins under the WEC banner, Gamburyan earned a shot at the featherweight championship. However, Jose Aldo knocked him out in the second round. Following his loss to Aldo, Gamburyan rejoined the UFC with the WEC merger. Now, at 33 years old, The Anvil is hoping one more change of scenery can take him to the top.
“This is it, I can’t go down anymore,” Gamburyan laughed. “I promise you, I can’t make 125.”
Gamburyan's UFC 178 adversary, Gibson, is not as seasoned. At 26 years old, Gibson has only two UFC fights under his belt. That said, The Renegade is promising and is coming off of a knockout victory over Johnny Bedford.
This could be the beginning of something big for Gamburyan. Then again, he could fall flat against Gibson and end up in danger of being released from the UFC roster. We'll have to wait until next month to see how the 135-pound division treats Gamburyan.