UFC 128: Manny Gamburyan vs Raphael Assuncao scheduled for March 19 in New Jersey


A featherweight showdown has been added to UFC 128 as the promotion announced that Manny Gamburyan will throw leather against Raphael Assuncao on March 19 in New Jersey.

Gamburyan will return to the UFC for the first time since dropping consecutive fights to Rob Emerson and Thiago Tavares back in 2009. Those losses necessitated a move down to the 145-pound weight class and a trip to the WEC.

"The Anvil" had a great deal of success with the smaller promotion, winning three straight, including a first round knockout of Mike Brown at the "Aldo vs Faber" pay-per-view event. That win earned him a fight against division kingpin Jose Aldo.

Unfortunately, the Armenian met the same fate as so many others before him, as he was beaten badly and knocked out in the second round.

A merger with the UFC however, provides a chance at a fresh start for the dangerous Judo specialist and he'll kick off attempt two in the division against an always game Brazilian.

Raphael Assuncao began his career in 2004 and was a dominant machine for the next five years, winning 14 of his first 15 fights.

And then the WEC needed a scrappy fighter that would provide a tough test for Urijah Faber and guess who drew the short stick?

A submission loss to the "California Kid" would be followed by a split decision defeat at the hands of Diego Nunes. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist may have saved his job in his next fight when he took a decision from LC Davis at WEC 52.

If he loses his UFC debut though, will they keep him around?

UFC 128 is all set for March 19 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey and will be headlined by a long-awaited light heavyweight title fight pitting champion "Shogun" Rua against challenger Rashad Evans.

Stay tuned to for any changes or updates as they become available.

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