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SportsMixed Martial Arts

UFC 141: Manny Gamburyan continues slide

Manny Gamburyan finishes Mike Brown for the TKO

Manny Gamburyan finishes Mike Brown for the TKO victory in the first round of their featherweight bout at WEC 48 in Sacramento. (April 24, 2010) Credit: WEC Photo

One thing that always intrigues me as an observer of mixed martial arts is the career path of fighters after they either lose their title or lose their title shot. Some fall far and fast, others not so much.

Put Manny Gamburyan in the former category.

In September 2010, Gamburyan (pictured above, left) challenged for Jose Aldo's WEC featherweight title. He lost by second-round TKO. From there, he lost to Tyson Griffin by unanimous decision in a UFC Live on Versus event in June 2011.

And on Friday night at UFC 141, Gamburyan was the first prelim in a featherweight bout against Diego Nunes. Gamburyan (13-8) lost the bout by unanimous decision, with all three judges scoring it 29-28 in favor of Nunes (17-2).

Going from title contender to opening prelim with the sun still in the Las Vegas sky in the span of two fights is quite precipitous.

Part of Gamburyan's title shot against Aldo had to do with his three-fight win streak and the WEC's lack of depth at 145 pounds after Aldo had already beaten everyone else in the division.

Still, he's a featherweight that fans of both WEC and UFC recognize, given his fight history and his time on "The Ultimate Fighter." Dropping to first fight of the night may net a few more "Likes" on Facebook, but he needs to win fights in order to move back up the ladder at 145 pounds.

New York Sports