Ronda Rousey is at the top of the sports fighting world right now, but her mother is very concerned about the undefeated UFC champion's coaching.
In an interview published on Tuesday by LatiNation, Rousey's mother and former world judo champion AnnMaria De Mars ripped on her daughter's longtime coach Edmond Tarverdyan, defiantly stating, "I'm not going to be quiet about this anymore."
DeMars called Tarverdyan a "terrible coach" before going on to explain that Rousey was set up for inevitable success before he began working with her at Glendale Fighting Club in Glendale, California, in 2010.
"I think he hit the lottery when Ronda walked in there. She was winning before she even met him," De Mars said. She pointed to Rousey's exceptional judo record and Olympic bronze medal as valid credentials that should've earned Tarverdyan's immediate respect and attention, but evidently didn't.
"She was one of the top athletes in the world when she walked in there, and he wouldn’t even give her the time of day for months," she said. Later on Tuesday, De Mars doubled down on her earlier comments.
De Mars also believes that Tarverdyan is now using Rousey's ascending fame and top status for his own advantage. While it's not surprising to see a coach parlay his star pupil's success to attract promising fighters to his fighting club, De Mars is worried that they'll receive the same cold shoulder treatment from Tarverdyan.
"I would caution anybody from going there. I think it’s bad he uses her to lure people in," she said.
For his part, Tarverdyan has previously admitted to what De Mars has described. In an August interview with Joe Rogan, Tarverdyan said, "I’ll be honest: When she came in, I didn’t want to train her because I had my hands full."
He told Rogan that he wasn't sure if Rousey was "serious" or not about MMA -- a bit of a ridiculous thing to say about a fighter of Rousey's experience -- but after three to four months at the gym, her commitment and hard work got his attention. After watching her win her amateur MMA debut in 23 seconds in August 2010, Tarverdyan began working with her more closely.
“Her speed, power, explosiveness without even having that top level of training, the way she did it, I knew she was a real athlete, a real fighter,” Tarverdyan said. “She has all the plusses, and I knew it could be way better done.”
Needless to say, under Tarverdyan's coaching, Rousey has pummeled every opponent put in front of her en route to a 12-0 UFC record. Her next fight will be against Holly Holm on Nov. 14 in Melbourne, Australia.
Despite Rousey's success, De Mars claims that her daughter hasn't left Tarverdyan yet for superstitious reasons.
“I think she stays there because it’s like somebody who pitches a no-hitter when they’re wearing red underwear and then they wear that red underwear every day."
If Rousey beats Holm next month, expect her "superstitious" coaching choice to continue -- with or without mom's approval.
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