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UFC lightweight Manvel "The Anvil" Gamburyan will be dropping to the 145-lb. featherweight division, and moving to the ranks of the WEC according to a new report from MMA Weekly:
"I don’t know if the cut is going to be hard or easy – I haven’t made 145 in almost 10 years – but I’m going to do it in a good way," he told MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday. "I’m going to put together a beautiful training (camp)."
"There are a lot of good guys at 145 also," he said. "Mike Brown, Leonard Garcia, Urijah Faber, Jens Pulver. But I think my ability to drop to 145 – I’m going to be a lot stronger, and quicker. At 155, my technique is my advantage, because the day I’m fighting, I’m 160, 162. The guys are outweighing me by at least 20 pounds every fight, so I don’t think that’s fair."
Gamburyan (8-4, 2-3 UFC) was always undersized for a lightweight, but used his brute strength and dominating ground control to make it to the finals of the The Ultimate Fighter's 5th season, where he suffered an injury in the finale against Nate Diaz. Gamburyan reeled off two straight submission wins after that, but once he took a step up in competition, he was faced with back-to-back losses against Rob Emerson, and most recently, Thiago Tavares at UFC 94. The size disadvantage was particularly noticeable in the Tavares fight where the much larger Brazilian bullied Gamburyan around the cage for a unanimous decision victory.
Training with Gokor Chivichyan's Hayastan camp and cousin Karo Parisyan, Gamburyan will look to put his strong submission skills and freakish power to use in the stacked 145-lb ranks of the WEC. Current champ Mike Brown is set to defend his featherweight title against another former UFC lightweight in Leonard Garcia on March 1st, but no official debut date has been announced for Gamburyan yet.