Jose Aldo and Manny Gamburyan Talk WEC 51

Photos via MMA Weekly

Lots of good coverage going into tonight's WEC featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Manny Gamburyan.

Let's start with MMA Weekly:

"I don't care. I can be a 10-to-1 underdog. Look what happened against Mike Brown," Gamburyan said.
...
Streaks and performances like the ones done by Aldo have been compared to that of his Black House teammate, Anderson Silva. Some have called him the featherweight version of "The Spider."
...
"If they're comparing him to Anderson Silva, they should compare me with Fedor," proclaimed the WEC title challenger.

Yes, you read that right. Gamburyan made it clear and repeated, "If he's Anderson Silva, most definitely, I'm Fedor."

Here's Sherdog talking to Jose Aldo:

Sherdog.com: You took several training partners with you, did you not?
Aldo: Yes, I brought Diego Nunes, who also will fight, Marlon Sandro, Luis "Beição" Ramos and Leonardo Santos. They're all here with me.

Sherdog.com: And your opponent, have you identified his strengths?
Aldo: The guy is tough. He is a good wrestler and a hard counter puncher, but I am prepared after my training.

Sherdog.com: Were you surprised to see him defeat Mike Thomas Brown?
Aldo: It's fighting, and I think that fighting is [unpredictable] like that. If he surprises me [and wins our fight], I guess that's the truth. In my opinion, Mike was the favorite, but [Gamburyan] caught him with a good shot and gave Mike no chance to recover.

Dave Meltzer breaks down the fighting backgrounds of both men:

The Brazilian's spectacular stand-up game based on Muay Thai has resulted in seven straight wins, six by KO or TKO, and three knockout-of-the-night bonuses since arriving on the U.S. scene a little more than two years ago.

From the start, he's trained in everything. He's a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and was competing at the world-class level before giving up elite competition at 18 to fully concentrate on MMA. People say his ground game is better than his stand-up, but since coming to the U.S., he dominated everyone standing up so has never had to show it. He also competed in judo as a teenager and trains heavily in wrestling.
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"He's a very impressive fighter, but I'm ready for him" said Gamburyan, 29, who himself has nearly two decades of combat experience. He won eight national age-class championships in judo starting at 12 while training under the legendary Gene LaBell and Gokor Chivichian. Gamburyan started MMA training at 15 with his first fight at 17.
...
"I never reached my goal in judo," he said. "I always wanted to be a world champion, an Olympic champion in judo. But right now I consider to myself that I'm fighting for an Olympic gold medal. My hope is I get that belt or medal, it doesn't matter. So in my head, I'm fighting for the Olympics and I'm fighting for the belt."

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