UFC veteran Manny Gamburyan is hoping a move down to the bantamweight division will provide the spark that his career is currently needing. The Ultimate Fighter Season 5 finalist will test the 135-pound waters against Cody Gibson at UFC 178 on Sept. 27. “The Anvil” dropped a unanimous decision to Nik Lentz in his last Octagon appearance at Fight Night 40, while Gibson knocked out Johnny Bedford in his last fight.
It’ll be the third weight class for Gamburyan during his UFC tenure. He lost the lightweight final of TUF Season 5 against Nate Diaz and has also competed as a featherweight. His biggest career triumph was a knockout of Mike Brown during his days in the WEC, and he also had a failed title challenge against Jose Aldo at WEC 51.
It appeared as though Gamburyan was starting to make some strides in the 145-pound division when he recorded back-to-back victories over Michihiro Omigawa and Cole Miller. However, he saw that momentum snuffed out with consecutive losses to top-10 contenders Dennis Siver and Lentz. The loss against Siver was eventually changed to a no-contest after “The Menace” failed his post-fight drug test at UFC 168. The Gibson fight will mark a fresh start for the powerful 33-year-old Armenian. Gamburyan has produced eight knockout or submission wins in his 13 career triumphs.
Gibson produced a solid rebound performance against Bedford at Fight Night 44 as he earned the KO victory in just 38 seconds. There was some controversy attached to that win, as it was viewed by many as a premature stoppage. It evened his Octagon record at 1-1 after losing a unanimous decision in his debut against talented prospect Aljamain Sterling at UFC 170. Bedford has eight finishes to his credit in 12 career victories and has won seven of his last eight bouts.
It’ll be interesting to see whether Gamburyan is able to get any positive traction while campaigning as a bantamweight. He’s faced the better competition during the course of his career, but is getting Gibson during a current hot-streak. If Gamburyan is successful, he will be a welcome addition to the division. If he falters against Gibson in Las Vegas, it could very well spell the end of his UFC tenure.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for RantSports.com