Former TUF finalist Manny Gamburyan has been competing under the Zuffa banner for eight years. He debuted as a lightweight in 2007, dropped down to the WEC’s featherweight division in 2009, and now identifies as a UFC bantamweight. So when by Gamburyan’s standards, relative UFC newcomers like Bryan Caraway make their splash in the organisation and don’t respect seasoned veterans of the sport, the Armenian takes it personally.
Things first kicked off between Gamburyan and Caraway in 2013 during The Ultimate Fighter 18. The rivalry between coaches Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate had reached boiling point, and even opposing training partners formed their own feuds.
Now, two years on, Gamburyan is as furious as ever with Caraway; the 34-year-old has earned wins over Cody Gibson and Scott Jorgenson since his transition to 135 lbs. but Caraway doesn’t feel ‘The Pitbull’ is a worthy contender.
“I just felt real disrespected,” Gamburyan said on The MMAHour. “I really want to punch him in the face, dude. Even if I see him on the street or anywhere outside of a fight, he better walk with a bodyguard or something like that, because I want to punch him.”
Concluding the interview, Manny took a shot at Caraway’s relationship with women’s bantamweight star, Miesha Tate. Gamburyan feels the American is riding on the back of his girlfriend’s success and referred to his rival as ‘Mr. Tate.’
“I’m not a step back. I’ve been in this game for so many years. What is it exactly you lose if it’s a step back? Because I’m not ranked? I’m one of the biggest names at 135 pounds. He’s never fought a bigger name than me.”
“Who is this guy? He’s not even Bryan Caraway. He’s Mr. Tate.”
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