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WEC’s Featherweight Class Picks Up Another Top Ten Fighter and a Crazy Armenian

("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: 

"Hopefully, we’ll get one or two fights against some solid competition and put ourselves in line to challenge for the title. Rafael will be training with American Top Team, so he wouldn’t want to challenge Mike Brown for the title. He hopes Mike continues to have a great run as champion, but if circumstances change at some point, he would definitely like to challenge for the title."

 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:

"There are a lot of good guys at 145 also…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.”


  1. NeW jErSeY-nEw JeRsEy Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 06:25

  2. breeze Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 06:27

    shut the fuck up
  3. Cap'n Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 06:31

    bunch of winners, there in jersey.
  4. Ouch! That hurts Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 06:39

    I tell ya, that American Top Team is a pretty good camp, I wonder if they have room for one more 155er, say a guy from Hilo who never seems to push himself hard enough in training? Just a thought.
  5. Machete for hands Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 06:49

    Manny Gamburyan better win some fights there because hes not only supporting his family he is also supporting Karo Parisyan family and his wedding too
  6. squirrelnuts Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 06:57

    good stuff. i love Manny, he reminds me of a shaven Wolverine from the x-men comics.
  7. Dick Byrnes Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 06:57

    Can't stand Manny. Glad he's out of the UFC. I do think it's a good addition for the WEC though. Jersey Sucks.
  8. England Rules Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 07:00

    Anyone putting 1st or first on a new post is a total turd juggler!
  9. BIG CHRIS Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 07:02

    Maybe now Karo can borrow some money from Manny to pay his rent....or buy pills, whatever is first on his list.
  10. Your Dumb!!! Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 07:04

    BREAKING NEWS!!!! Manny Gambruyan is now a top 10 fighter!!!!
  11. PaalSunde Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 07:05

    you know, it must be really sad being the one who writes "1st" ... If you would have wrote something like "1st .. *then something smart right here* " Normal people like, everybody who dont write "1st" would have thougth : Okay, hes dumb.. but he wrote something smart after so that means hes actually knows this sport. But when you just write "1st" ... You are just the dumb guy, and if that wasnt enough you have a really stupid nickname too! that is so sad NeW JeRseY!
  12. BIG CHRIS Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 07:05

    Can CP block these cool comments or what?? They are driving me crazy!!
  13. Machete for hands Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 07:15

    New jersey pela
  14. jarhead Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 07:25

    Go Manny!
  15. Anonymous Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 07:40

    so is manny saying that the day of a fight, a lightweight fighter will weigh close to 180?
  16. Sol Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 07:49

    i dont think its 180 but im fairly certain some are weighing in the region of 170. I dont think its weight that's getting Gamburyan down but im all for stacking the 145-lb division as it used to be fairly weak.
  17. Jonny5 Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 07:56

    how the heck do you rank Rafael Asuncao at 10th in the world at Feather Weight....thats outrageous. I was curious how that could be so I looked at the CP featherweight power rankings and realized the only reason he is "top ten" if because the CP "top ten" includes
  18. Jay Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 07:58

    Like fuck he's walking around at 160, ffs his head has to weigh that much.
  19. Ouch! That hurts Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 07:59

    Don't be so hard on the people that write "1st", few people know they kept having to redo the Declaration of Independence because Bejamin Franklin kept writing "1st" and messing it up. Not to mention Thomas "cool" Jefferson, what a prick!
  20. DDJ Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 08:14

    Manny is a top 10 fighter??? Who the fuck wrote that title? I can name 10+ fighters that can beat his ass, the worst being Rob fucking Emerson! Give a break CP.
  21. Jonny5 Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 08:17

    The Wec has most of the best featherweights but I wish they would grab a couple of the good asian featherweight to see how they would fare against the WEC mix of contenders like Jose Aldo or Wagney Fabianno. Which asians you ask? Shooto Champ Takeshi Inoue 15-3, Deep Bantamweight Champ Masakazu Imanari 15-6-1(been fighting @135 lately but is the owner of Mike Browns last loss with a kneelock), Hatsu Ioki 17-3-2 (presently in Dream FW tournament and holds a Pride win over WEC top 5 FW Jeff Curran) and last but not least Deep FW Champ Dokonjonosuke Mishima 19-6-2 who's out till early summer with a knee injury (Mishima is the most colorful of the Featherweights and deserves a try at the WEC FW div. after going 0-2 in the UFC's Light Weight division against top guys like Joe Stevenson and Kenny Florian).................ok FLAME away if you disagree with any of these small asians bringing added excitement to the WEC FW div.
  22. Anonymous Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 08:23

    can any of you please explain where you see it say manny is a top 10 fighter cause i can't find it. I see that cp wrote the wec picks up another top 10 fighter and a crazy armenian. They then go on with the story about the top 10 ranked fighter being Rafael Assuncao and the crazy armenian being manny. Never once did they rank manny as a top 10 fighter. So Your dumb and DDJ you guys really need to learn how to read the whole story and not just the title and assume shit.
  23. Neal Taflinger Says:

    Thu, 02/19/09 - 09:04

    You know what would be awesome? Little guys fighting in the big show.
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