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Manny Gamburyan ready to get 'W' versus Dennis Siver at UFC 168

Mixed martial arts: Glendale Fighting Club featherweight takes on seventh-ranked Siver on Saturday in Las Vegas.

December 21, 2013|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • Manny Gamburyan, right, trains for his upcoming fight with sparring partner Alfred Khashakyan, left, at the Glendale Fighting Club in Glendale on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013.
Manny Gamburyan, right, trains for his upcoming fight… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

It wasn’t all that long ago that Manny Gamburyan felt he was fighting for his job with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Having halted a three-fight losing skid and emerged with a current two-bout winning streak, the Glendale-trained grappler now faces a top-10 opponent as he looks to end 2013 on a winning note with a high-profile victory.

“I’m very excited,” said Gamburyan on Saturday at the Glendale Fighting Club, a week ahead of his three-round Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight (145 pounds) bout with Dennis Siver as part of UFC 168 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand. “I finished my camp really good; feeling healthy, feeling strong. I’m done with my homework. I just gotta go out there, show what I can do, get the ‘W.’”

Standing in the way of Gamburyan (13-7) getting the ‘W’ and adding to his winning streak is Siver (21-9), who boasts a stellar kickboxing game and the No. 7 ranking in the latest UFC featherweight rankings.

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“Manny is an extremely dangerous, experienced fighter,” Siver told UFC.com. “His stocky build presents issues and he is a threat both standing and on the mat. This will be one of the most intense fights of my career.”

Siver, 34, is coming off a third-round technical-knockout loss to Cub Swanson in July, but had previously won two straight and six of seven. Though highly regarded for his stand-up game, which features a devastating spinning back kick, Siver has won nine bouts by submission and five via knockout.

Gamburyan owns two knockout wins and six by submission, as his judo background and grappling game has long been a strength, though his striking has improved greatly over the last few years, particularly under the tutelage of Edmond Tarverdyan, the Glendale Fighting Club head coach.

“I’m being honest, I’ve worked a lot on my stand-up game,” Gamburyan, 32, said, “but every fight I’ve fought, I’ve had an advantage on the ground.”

Tarverdyan is confident Gamburyan can compete standing, but believes the bout will come down to who showcases their skills best on Saturday night.

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