Ronda Rousey’s UFC future remains in doubt, but there’s one thing that’s nearly certain — her coach Edmond Tarverdyan must go.
While some might blame the fame or Rousey maybe losing her hunger to fight, it was quite clear over her two-fight losing streak the coaching was a clear problem.
Where it started unraveling — Bethe Correia
After the judo expert bolted through five consecutive wins to begin her UFC career, Rousey was met with an interesting challenger in August 2015, Bethe Correia. Despite her ability to get her opponents on the mat and submit with armbar after armbar, Rousey and her team opted to play Correia’s game, standing and throwing.
Rousey eats punch after punch, throwing wildly and showing an aggressive nature while almost ignoring the clinch and only focusing on punishing her opponent.
While Rousey outstruck the Brazilian opponent and knocked her out cold, it opened holes in her game — holes Tarverdyan and his team didn’t correct before standing toe-to-toe with former kickboxing champion and expert striker Holly Holm.
Devastation — Holly Holm
Rousey followed a similar gameplan as she did against Correia, only Holm’s length and ability to strike and move came back to overwhelm the former bantamweight champion.
Rousey stalked Holm around the cage, refusing to move her head and getting popped in the chin, yet never giving up on the chase.
As Rousey ate punches and kicks, Tarverdyan is heard yelling ‘head movement‘ only once. He talks about keeping her hands up, but when stinging jabs are coming in, keeping Rousey’s hands up wasn’t a sufficient plan of action.
As Round 1 ended, that’s when the real criticism comes in. Clearly overwhelmed by the beating Rousey was taking, Tarverdyan repeatedly calls her first round “beautiful” before calling for catching Holm with a left hook. There’s no changing of the game plan, no altering things on the fly, it was just sticking to what they had planned despite his fighter getting absolutely pummeled.
Rousey would take time off to focus on herself, battle depression and train in anticipation of a return to the Octagon.
After more than a year off from her November loss to Holm, Rousey would ink a deal for December 30 against new champion Amanda Nunes — another pure striker with a vicious streak that helped in ending longtime rival of Rousey, Miesha Tate’s career.
But moments from Rousey’s training showed glimpses that she wasn’t ready for what awaited her in the Octagon:
Get the belt back — Amanda Nunes
Rousey’s attempt to get her championship back against Nunes went about as expected, as the former champ in just 48 seconds, blasting Rousey over again with devastating blows:
After the bout, Nunes called out Tarverdyan on the Rousey’s predictable game plan, via NESN:
“I know she was going to strike with me because her boxing coach told her she has a good strike,” Nunes said. “I know she was going to strike a little bit with me, but when I started to connect with some punches, I knew she would want to start to clinch with me. “She thinks she’s a boxer. (Tarverdyan) put this thing in her head and make the girl believe that. I don’t know why he that. She have a great judo and she can go more far in this division, but he put some crazy thing about her boxing and then her career started going down. I’m the real striker here.”
Rousey’s mother has also previously called out Tarverdyan:
Former UFC fighter turned commentator Kenny Florian chimed in after the fight as well, via the Washington Post:
“I like Edmond. I spoke to him in various occasions, but he doesn’t have the experience for high-level mixed martial arts,” Florian said on his podcast on Tuesday (via Bloody Elbow). “That’s my opinion. He hasn’t been keeping up with it.”
Rousey may simply walk away from the fight game altogether. She has remained for the most part out of the spotlight other than a short Instagram post on hitting “rock bottom.”
Whether it means she’ll move forward with boyfriend and current UFC fighter Travis Browne or she’ll attempt to regain her throne, it’s clear massive changes are a must.