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Midnight Mania! Top MMA trainer claims Ronda Rousey’s striking not (completely) Edmond Tarverdyan’s fault

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Welcome to Midnight Mania! Firas Zahabi, the head trainer at the successful mixed martial arts (MMA) gym, Tri-Star, has come out with some surprising comments in regard to Ronda Rousey’s boxing coach, Edmond Tarverdyan (who doesn’t care what you think). You can watch the clip below:

Here’s a partial transcript, courtesy of Bloody Elbow:

“I think Ronda has got power. What Ronda doesn’t have, is fluidity, a technical speed. She doesn’t have a smooth coordination. She’s very jittery, she’s very mechanical when she punches, and she’s very wild and telegraphs very much. Her punching level is not at an expert level,” he said. “However, is that her coach’s fault? I would say no, it is not.”

However, that was not all he had to say.

“The reason why a Ben Askren or a Ronda Rousey’s striking usually — not always — doesn’t hit that high level, is because they’ve spent so much time wiring their brain and their body and their nervous system to fight in one particular way. It’s opportunity cost. Every time you do one thing, you’re costing yourself in another.”

Even though he did place the blame partly on Rousey’s natural predilection to grappling, he did admit whatever Tarverdyan is doing is not working.

“Is it Edmond’s fault? I don’t think it is. But, I think there are coaches out there that can do a much better job than what Edmond did. That I will agree with. I don’t want to be negative towards anybody, but the job that he did out there against Amanda Nunes was as bad as it can be. That’s the legitimate criticism that I cannot defend. I don’t believe he’s incompetent. I think he’s a legitimate striker. I’ve seen his fight videos, I’ve seen him standing up. He legitimately knows what he’s doing standing up. Is his stand up style good for Ronda? Is his approach to training stand up good for Ronda? I would say it’s not.”

I can’t say I agree completely with Zahabi here, (Jeff Mayweather doesn’t) but it’s a balanced take. Tarverdyan may not have been a bad striker, but his coaching, in particular his cornering, is dreadful. Not entirely sure how you can defend this, though.


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