As most probably expected, much criticism continues to come at Ronda Rousey’s head coach Edmond Tarverdyan after her 48-second knockout loss to UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 last weekend (Friday, December 30, 2016).
Former UFC contender Kenny Florian recently voiced his thoughts on Tarverdyan’s coaching abilities during a recent episode of his Anik and Florian podcast (courtesy of Bloody Elbow), revealing he heard Rousey never sparred in preparation for her bout with Nunes:
“My understanding is that perhaps Rousey didn’t really spar leading up to this fight,” Florian said. “I get that they’re trying to preserve her from not getting hurt. But you’ve got to have some rounds. You’ve got to ready for the worst case scenario, which is Amanda Nunes striking with you. She wasn’t able to move her head, do anything defensively to avoid the striking skills of Amanda Nunes, and really paid for it.”
“If she didn’t spar at all, as we heard rumblings about after the fight, that’s probably indefensible,” Anik said about the situation. “We so applaud and laud people for scaling back their sparring, but you still have to do it to some extent.”
Florian believes if Rousey wants to return to being the most dominant female mixed martial artist the sport has today, she needs to make an upgrade in her head-coach, as Tarverdyan simply doesn’t have the experience to coach high-level MMA:
“Combat is such an interesting thing. You see how quickly it can evolve. If you do not keep up with it, we see it time and time again, you will be left behind,” Florian said. “For Rousey I think she is a tremendous talent, she did so many amazing things in this sport, but I think she is loyal to a fault.
“I like Edmond. I spoke to him in various occassions, but he doesn’t have the experience for high level mixed martial arts. That’s my opinion. He hasn’t been keeping up with it. I just think she needs a knowledgeable, experienced coach, wherever that is,” he said. “She’s going to need much better coaching, and a much better team around her. That’s for sure.”
Rousey’s performance against Nunes didn’t show Florian that ‘Rowdy’ had developed since her loss to Holm because her striking still looked subpar:
“Nothing was working for her. She wasn’t moving her head. Her hands started dropping. She was running right into very big shots,” Florian said. “She had 411 days to improve as a striker, and unfortunately for her, just wasn’t able to get it done. There really was no difference in what she did agianst Holly Holm. There was no head movement. There was no variety, There were no angles.
“She still needs to improve, overall. Even if we take out striking, what about developing skills in getting to the clinch safely? Something as basic as that, was not done! For me, as someone who has been in Mixed Martial Arts a long time, that’s just a very basic skill, and she didn’t do that. There were no level changes, no leg attacks as far as dropping to try and get a single or a double leg. That really concerned me.”
Rousey’s camp recently reached out to Florian after his comments, revealing that Rousey actually had four different sparring partners leading up to the bout:
Although we heard that Ronda didn't spar in preparation for Nunes, Ronda's camp informed me she had 4 different quality sparring partners.
— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) January 3, 2017
Do you agree with Florian’s assessment of Rousey’s situation?