("Brow down, bitches!")
Remember when the WEC’s featherweight division just consisted of Urijah Faber and the handful of dudes who were sent in to get trounced by him? Now we’ve got Mike Brown and Leonard Garcia fighting for the title, and guys like Wagnney Fabiano and Jose Aldo slaying their way up the ladder. It’s an exciting place to fight, and the division got even deeper this week with two high-profile additions to the 145-pound roster.
On Monday, MMA Junkie reported that #10-ranked featherweight Rafael Assuncao was signed to a multi-fight deal, with his debut possibly coming at WEC 40 (April 5th, Chicago). Assuncao is 12-1 with eight wins by submission, and holds career wins over Joe Lauzon and Jorge Masvidal. Most recently he scored a 12-second knockout over Joe "The Triangular Strangler" Pearson at an Ironheart Crown show in November. Though he was previously associated with Unit 2 Fitness in Atlanta, Assuncao will be moving to American Top Team, the home of current WEC featherweight champ Mike Brown. Said Assuncao’s manager Malki Kawa:
The other big-name acquisition is Manny Gamburyan, the TUF 5 vet and cousin of Karo Parisyan who will be dropping in weight class after taking his second consecutive loss in the UFC. Though "The Anvil" scored quick submission victories over Nate Mohr and Jeff Cox following his time on The Ultimate Fighter — where he defeated Noah Thomas, Matt Wiman, and Joe Lauzon before tapping out due to a shoulder injury during his fight against Nate Diaz in the finale — he then suffered through a 12-second KO loss to Rob Emerson at UFC 87, followed by his most recent unanimous decision loss to Thiago Tavares at UFC 94. Gamburyan expects to have his first WEC fight in May or June. As he told MMA Weekly: