MMA Madness Q&A: One-on-one with Manny Gamburyan
Author: Ben Zeidler
MMA Madness recently caught up with TUF finalist Manny Gamburyan, who is looking to rebound from his disappointing injury and loss against Nate Diaz. Gamburyan, who has an upcoming fight at UFC 79 against Nate Mohr, discusses everything from his preparation for the fight, a potential rematch with Diaz, and the possibility of taking on Sean Sherk.
MMA Madness: Howís your training going?
Gamburyan: Training is going really well. I feel good.
MMA Madness: Your next fight is at UFC 79 against Nate Mohr. How do you think that you guys will match up?
Gamburyan: I think itís a great match up. Nate is a good guy and a good fighter. Heís got the experience in the UFC. He lost his first UFC fight with a leg lock but he won the last one so heís got that. Iím preparing for what he can do so I should be good.
MMA Madness: How do you see the fight going? Do you look to finish or can that lead to sloppy mistakes?
Gamburyan: I always try to finish. Always. You donít want the fight to go to the judges. You never know what can happen with them. So yes, I will try to finish him as soon as I can.
MMA Madness: Are we going to see the same powerful and explosive Manny that we saw on TUF?
Gamburyan: Itís going be a crazy pace. Iím going to be all over him Ė stand-up, ground-and-pound, submission -- Iíll be looking for it all. Anywhere the fight goes, Iíll be working fast.
MMA Madness: You've got a decision loss to Sean Sherk. Is that something you'd like to avenge?
Gamburyan: Sure, why not? Iíd love to fight him again. Hopefully, Iíll win on the 29th
and then get a couple more fights under my belt, get a little more technical, and maybe Iíll get a shot. It would be a dream come true to take on Sean Sherk.
MMA Madness: Most people had you winning your fight against Diaz, and you dominated the fight until your shoulder injury. Do you want a rematch with Nate?
Gamburyan: 100%. I want a rematch 100%. I guarantee you guys that Iíll continue right where I left off against Nate the first time. I was too confident in myself before the fight and I pushed the injury too hard during training. I had the injury during training but it wasnít hurting too much and I never thought it would pop out like that. I had hurt it for the first time in 2001 and Iíve hurt it a few times since then. The Nate Diaz fight was the fourth time I hurt the shoulder. I promise you guys when I get that rematch, Iím going to show everyone that I was the real Ultimate Fighter.
MMA Madness: What was the best part of being on TUF?
Gamburyan: Being with [Jens] Pulver and [BJ] Penn was definitely the best part. I respect both guys a lot. Theyíve got different training [styles] but both are great guys. The house sucks. Donít even go there. Being a part of it was a great experience and itís great to get that much fight time in. You donít talk to friends and parents; you donít know what anyone outside of the house is doing so you end up training all the time. You really have to be mentally strong to be on the show. You can never do it if youíre not.
MMA Madness: Cole Miller told us he liked the house.
Gamburyan: Really? I donít think he was having a good time.
MMA Madness: Looking back, are you glad you were on Team Pulver?
Gamburyan: Yíknow, either way, I ended up in the gym. Iím happy I was with Pulver -- we trained like animals. We had one day off a week and Pulverís got tons of experience and heart. Iíve got lots of respect for the guy.
MMA Madness: Steroids have become a huge issue in MMA lately. Why are fighters taking them if they know that they'll probably get caught?
Gamburyan: If I were Dana White, I would say, ĎI donít care if youíre the freaking champion.í Donít give them one chance -- youíre off the UFC for the rest of your life. It should be like that all the time. If Sherk did it, he should be out -- no more UFC for him. I donít care if youíre Matt Hughes, Andrei Arlovski, or Tim Sylvia -- if you do it, get out. Not even 1% chance you should be let back in. Thatís the biggest cheating ever. You arenít real if you cheat. I donít respect you at all if you cheat.
MMA Madness: Who wins Gamburyan-Diaz II?
Gamburyan: Iíll submit him in the first round.