It was tough to find anyone who gave little Manny Gamburyan any shot of pulling the upset on former WEC featherweight champ Mike Brown. Brown was viewed as the bigger, more complete version of Gamburyan. But the only guy who really needed to believe, did, and "The Anvil" pulled off a vicious finish of Brown less three minutes into their bout at WEC 48.
Gamburyan generally relies on his takedown skills but looked to strike on the feet from the get-go. Suggesting that he didn't respect the power of the 5-foot-4 Gamburyan, Brown kept coming forward but he wasn't throwing more than a punch at a time. Gamburyan showed a sign of things to come with 3:09 left when landed a nice three-punch combo followed by an overhand right that bounced off the top of Brown's head.
Just seconds later, Gamburyan walked through a Brown right and countered with his own right uppercut. Brown froze, his eyes rolled back and he fell to his back. On the ground, Gamburyan landed six hammer fists, the final one made Brown's head drop to the mat. Referee Jon Schorle had to save him at 2:22 of the first. Brown's entire body was shaking as the referee laid on him trying to convince him the fight was over. Gamburyan won as a 6-to-1 underdog.
This is the second straight loss for Brown (23-6, 5-2 WEC), who now falls way out of the title chase at 145 pounds. Meanwhile, Gamburyan, who had been a bit underwhelming in the WEC since his drop from the UFC, is now a candidate to get a title shot.
A former lightweight, Gamburyan (11-4, 3-0 WEC) was a finalist on Season 5 of "The Ultimate Fighter" and may finally have a chance to live up to the potential he showed during the season.
- Mike Brown