UFC veteran and former Ultimate Fighter star Manny Gamburyan recently spoke to Submission Radio about his decision to drop to Bantamweight, his feud with Miesha Tate’s boyfriend Bryan Caraway and Ronda Rousey’s next fight.
Below are highlights from the interview.
On why he made the drop to Bantamweight: “When I started my career in MMA fighting, I was fighting at 170, and I never thought I could make 155. I’m gonna be really honest with you guys, I said so many times in my interviews, and then when I made 155, I felt like there’s no way I’m gonna make 145. And then in the future, I said ‘you know what, I can make 145’. And I did 145 (for) almost 10 fights, and then I got sick and tired of fighting big guys. Not that I have a problem with fighting big guys, it’s just, I feel like 135 I can do better and I can fight better and I can show better skill at 135.”
Working with Mike Dolce: “I’ve known him forever, I’ve known him for a long time, and I see he does really good stuff and I asked Ronda, and she said she felt the best ever. (I was) like you know, if everyone’s you know, Chael Sonnen, Thiago Alves, Ronda Rousey, BJ Penn, you name it, (the list) it’s going on and on, Nick Lentz. This guy helps everyone and they still get him, if not they wouldn’t work with him. So I guess whatever he’s doing he’s doing the right job and the right things, and I’m hoping to I get some results.”
“I feel like with this diet, whatever he has, his supplements that he’s giving me to eat, I feel like I should be 150, the week of. Then I’ll be 145 on Wednesday, on Thursday I should be 140, I should sleep with 140, I’m gonna wake up probably 138 and a half, maybe or 139, even 140, I don’t care. I’ll probably cut the 4 pounds in the morning and go to weigh ins.”
On match up with Bryan Caraway: “Let me make this the right way, Bryan Caraway is not my dream fight. I promise you. He’s just another guy out there in my weight class, but I feel like people want me to fight him, fans want me to fights him. As a fighter I respect him, I think he’s got a lot of good techniques, he’s a good fighter and you know, I feel like he’s kinda scared of me. Which I don’t blame him. Am I bad match up for him? I’m a bad match up for everyone, I guarantee you. I’m not a good match up for anyone, but he’s being smart, he doesn’t wanna fight me, or he should have fought me because I’d be the biggest name that he ever fought. Who has he ever fought? I fought a lot of guys, and this guy thinks he fought better guys. He never fought a good guy, but again he’s not my dream fight. Is he the guy I’m looking up to? No, never. If it never happens, I’ll never ask for it.”
“I called him out on Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook, on Ariel Helwani’s show, and now here (Submission Radio). So if it’s not happening, then why would I beg. Clearly the guy doesn’t wanna fight me, and I said I don’t blame him. So I have bigger and better talent at this weight class”
On wanting to become Bantamweight Champion: “I came up short against long time champion Jose Aldo. I’m not taking anything away from that guy, he’s a champion, he beat me fair and square, and at this weight class I feel like healthy Manny Gamburyan making the weight the way I want to, I see myself being a champion.”
On Cody Gibson: “He’s a well rounded guy. As I said, I respect him. I never met him, I don’t know him well, he’s in the UFC I’m sure his pretty good, so I’m gonna be ready. Am I going to change anything for him? No. My camps always go the same way, I train as hard as I can. It doesn’t matter who I’m fighting, like I said, the Champ or I’m fighting Cody Gibson. For me, my mind set is on the same level.“
On TJ Dillashaw’s first fight with Renan Barao: “He beat him fair and square, he knocked him out. So I don’t know people, you know are being like ‘he got lucky’. He didn’t get lucky, he whooped his ass (for) four rounds and knocked him out.”
On rematch between TJ Dillashaw and Renan Barao: “I think TJ Dillashaw is gonna win again. I think TJ’s got his number. He showed heart, he showed technique, it was a great fight, I really enjoyed it.”
On what area of his game Manny is working for his Batmanweight debut at UFC 178: “My speed. Obviously from 145 to 135, you know there’s a speed difference, so I need more speed. So yeah, that’s what I’m doing right now”
On how he thinks his fight with Nate Diaz would have gone if he didn’t get injured in the TUF 5 finale: “He was tough. I trained for him for 6 weeks. You know, a freak accident happened. People think like ‘Manny, you should have got him. You should have got him’, you know. Nate’s tough. Was my plan to beat Nate? Hundred percent that was my plan, hundred percent. But I’m not gonna take anything away. He’s a super nice guy, we’re friendly, we’re very cool, we even train together sometimes. Was I gonna beat him? Like I said, that was my hundred percent game plan, to go out there and win the whole thing. It just didn’t go my way.”
On the potential Ronda Rousey vs. Gina Carano fight: “I mean right now, I don’t think anyone could match up with Ronda. I really don’t believe anyone can fight, (or) not even come close to fight Ronda Rousey. She’s on a tear. If it’s Gina Carano then yeah, you know. I see an easy night. First round again.”
You can listen to audio of the interview above.