Manvel Gamburyan who hails from Gyumri, Armenia, was known best at first for being the cousin of popular Welterweight fighter Karo Parisyan.
However, Manny has a very distinguished MMA career of his own.
Manny’s family emigrated to the US in 1991 where he took up training under Gokor Chivichyan’s Hayastan (Armenia) grappling system.
Manny has shown himself to be a top judoka (judo player), winning several national titles as well as competing in the junior Olympics in Judo.
With his cousin guiding him into the world of MMA, Manny entered the arena of MMA in 1999. Gamburyan was given an incredible chance to compete being cast onto season five of the Ultimate Fighter series.
Manny trained under Coach Jens Pulver and was quickly recognized as a top competitor. Manny bulldozed through Noah Thomas, Matt Wiman, and top-rated Joe Lauzon.
Dana White had stayed by his position that Manny was too small for Lightweight, but once White saw how far Manny had gotten, he took back his words.
Manny came up short in the finale losing due to a dislocation of his shoulder against Nate Diaz which many thought was Manny’s fight to win.
Manny was still awarded a UFC contract having impressed Dana White with his performance. It seemed to be a smooth ride with Manny winning two fights in a row after the finale defeating Nate Mohr and Jeff Cox.
With momentum behind him Manny came up short against Rob Emerson and Thiago Tavares.
Manny was offered an opportunity to drop in weight to compete in the WEC’s Featherweight division.
With the drop in weight, Manny was facing opponents closer to his natural size giving him an even bigger advantage in his fights.
Manny has gone undefeated since arriving in the WEC, beating John Franchi, Leonard Garcia, and former champion Matt Brown.
After the punch heard around the world to Brown’s chin, Manny had silenced his critics. Manny is now in line for a fight with the dangerous Featherweight champion Jose Aldo.