Edmond Tarverdyan says he'll consult boxing trainers ahead of Holm rematch
GLENDALE, Calif. -- Ronda Rousey's trainer said he thinks a rematch with Holly Holm at UFC 200 in July would be "a little bit too soon" because of Rousey's film commitments this spring and the need for rest and recovery after fighting three times in nine months last year.
"I don't see it in July at this point," Edmond Tarverdyan, Rousey's longtime trainer, told ESPN.com on Tuesday night, before another interview with ESPN's Brett Okamoto on Wednesday. "Ronda did three fights last year. I think she deserves time off. That's what [UFC president] Dana [White] said, too. So we've spoke about that. You know Dana judges things very fairly, and he completely understood."
Tarverdyan said he told White that Rousey would need four months to prepare for her next fight after she finishes filming the movie "Road House" this spring. He has been working with her recently so that she stays in shape for the fighting scenes in the movie, but not at a level that would prepare her to fight again soon, and he said he thinks Rousey needs to rest her body to preserve her long-term health.
"If you watch her career, she was fighting back-to-back," he said. "Even her amateur fights, she took a lot of fights back-to-back. Of course, she got [quick] finishes, but it's not only about the ring time, it's about the training. She's trained very hard to give it 100 percent every day, so you know, that's hard for the body. Ronda has been through a lot. She's had knee surgeries ... and we don't want to end up with the same thing, having another knee surgery, so we need to relax a little bit, take our time and get her in better shape slowly and mentally and physically."
Tarverdyan was criticized for the way he prepared Rousey before her shocking loss to Holm in November at UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia.
"It was the biggest loss of my career," he said. "You know you won't ever want that to happen again. So what that means is, I've got to work harder. Every little thing I've got to be honest with and make sure that we're ready to go.
"Yeah there was a lot of criticism afterwards about adding a boxing coach. MMA is not a boxing game, but Ronda got caught, and we will be taking advice from boxing trainers. I don't think it's going to be a situation about adding a boxing coach, it's about getting more thoughts from boxing trainers.
"I will be speaking to them and getting in the best advice. And if I feel it's necessary we will bring them in. But besides boxing, even the wrestling, the judo, the grappling aspect of it -- just approaching the fight in general, there will be a bit of things that we could add.
"We're not going to sit here and change everything that we've done, we've done stuff that I think is working, it's been great. We're not going to have something so much different for Ronda. Have we been doing everything wrong? No, that's not the situation. It's a fight, Ronda got caught with a shot, and it was a little bit of a roller coaster from there."
We're not going to sit here and change everything that we've done, we've done stuff that I think is working, it's been great. We're not going to have something so much different for Ronda. Have we been doing everything wrong? No, that's not the situation. It's a fight, Ronda got caught with a shot, and it was a little bit of a roller coaster from there.Ronda Rousey's trainer Edmond Tarverdyan
In an exclusive interview with ESPN in November, Rousey said, "I got hit in that first round. ... I cut my lip open and knocked a couple of my teeth loose. I was out on my feet from the very beginning. ... How I fought after that is such an embarrassing representation of myself."
Tarverdyan says Rousey's boxing skills shouldn't be judged by how she fought against Holm, a former boxing champion, because she was staggered throughout the fight.
"A lot of people might think Ronda didn't move her head when she was moving forward and she got popped with a shot," Tarverdyan said. "Ronda does know how to move her head. Ronda moved her head and avoided a lot of short, stocky straight shots, and she got into a beautiful clinch.
"If you watch the Liz Carmouche fight, any of [Rousey's previous] fights, she outmaneuvers and she gets inside in the clinch so well," he said, referring to Rousey's first-round submission victory over Carmouche in February 2013. "But this fight, she just got caught from the beginning, and everything was not in our favor. So what I'm trying to say is, afterwards it's easy to criticize. It's easy to say, 'Hey you could have done this,' and as a trainer I know we can do better. So I'm not going to say that we had the best camp. We will learn from it, and she will learn from it."
"Everything that has happened, Ronda has made improvements. Liz took her back, and we said, 'Hey Ronda, we can't be in that position ever again.' That was her first UFC fight when Liz took her back and almost choked her out, and Ronda had her jaw dislocated. After that we worked hard, and Ronda said, 'I promise you that's not going to happen again, Coach. I'm not going to fall into that position.' And she didn't. She's worked so much better, even on her grappling skills, because of what happened to her with the Liz fight. It's all about the rematch now, and it's all about how we prepare."
Tarverdyan said he has yet to watch the tape of the Holm fight with Rousey, but expects they will review it meticulously before the rematch.
"You have to get your confidence after a loss, of course, but I'll tell you something: When Ronda steps in that Octagon, Ronda's going to put a lot of heart into the fight," he said. "Ronda's going to fight her. Nobody is going to take Ronda's heart away. Ronda was born a fighter. It's not going to be like, 'Oh, we have to work on her again to make sure she has that heart.' Everybody sees she was chasing, and she was after Holly. Everybody sees that. That's what makes her so exciting and so amazing to watch. Ronda has the biggest heart any fighter ever will."
Holm is set to fight Miesha Tate in March at UFC 197. Tarverdyan said he assumes the result of that fight will affect the timing of the rematch with Rousey.