Ronda Lous-ey? Not really. Perhaps Edmond Travesty-dyan is more appropriate.
Ronda Rousey’s highly-anticipated UFC return at UFC 207 ended in tragedy. And for all the hype surrounding the fight, she failed miserably. Rousey looked like a sitting duck target for an aggressive, dynamic, accurate and powerful striker in Amanda Nunes. The result? Rousey landed only seven strikes and none of them mattered. Nunes delivered a total of 27 blows, of which 23 were to the head and most of them popped Ronda’s head backwards during those tragic 48 seconds. In all, Nunes connected on 57% of her punches and simply walked Rousey down. On her part, Rousey showed absolutely no defense whatsoever, which was a travesty.
Surely Rousey and her coaching staff know what the Lioness brings to the table. Everyone else knew that Nunes’ strength is her striking. It was too early to say that Ronda wasn’t going to her strengths. But when she started to get hit, she didn’t know how to defend herself nor did she know what to do.
BloodyElbow.com transcribed what Rousey’s coach, Edmond Tarverdyan, an accomplished boxer and Muay Thai fighter, advised Ronda before and during the fight itself. Here’s what the site came up with:
Tarverdyan: Make her miss, miss, miss!
Tarverdyan: Ronda, make her miss!
Second cornerman: Be patient. Pick your moments
Tarverdyan: Head movement! Head movement! Head movement! Head movement! Head movement! Head movement! Head movement!
Tarverdyan: Yes, move!
Rousey is already taking a few punches at this point, unable to properly defend. She continues to take damage as the following takes place.
Tarverdyan: Hands up! Hands up! Hands up! Catch her! Clinch!
Second cornerman: Get to the head!
Rousey is unable to get the clinch, starts taking worse damage as Nunes lands some power shots.
Tarverdyan: Head movement! Good job! Jab!
Rousey is unable to establish the jab or fight back. She takes a defensive position with a high guard on her left side as she continues to take more punishment.
Rousey starts to move to her left as more shots keep coming.
Tarverdyan: Move, move, move! Clinch, clinch, clinch, clinch, clinch, clinch!!
Nunes finishes Rousey, makes the shushing sign as she walks triumphantly around the cage.
Tarverdyan: NO! NOOOOOOO! NOOOOOOOOO!! NOOO!! NOOO!! NO! NO!!
Nunes makes her way to Tarverdyan and says a few things before popping her head out of the cage to say a few more bon mots. Edmond remains quiet during this part.
Tarverdyan: (as Amanda walks away) Move, (unintelligible)… move! Fuck!
Make her miss? Clinch? Was Tarverdyan encouraging Ronda to stand and box with Nunes? If that was the plan, it was a blunder. Rousey was stopped by a former boxing champion in Holly Holm. Nunes isn’t an ex-boxing champ, but she absolutely has more power than Holm. She also has the more dynamic combinations and is a known fast starter. According to Fightmetric.com, Nunes has a striking accuracy of 52%. That’s better than Miesha Tate (41%) and Holly Holm (32%), the two immediate past champions after Ronda Rousey. So make her miss? Perhaps “take her down” would have been the better cue.
In 2015, Tarverdyan told the media that Rousey would win the boxing world title should she make the crossover to the sport of pugilism. This was after Rousey knocked out Alexis Davis and shortly before she also stopped Beche Correia with punches. During this period, some people noticed the improvement in Ronda’s striking. Sure, she improved but she was definitely far from being an elite striker. Tarverdyan gave her false security and that was exposed by Holly Holm. Nunes reiterated that on Friday night.
Long before she lost to Holm (and even after), a lot of people thought Rousey should’ve changed coaches because she wasn’t going to improve her overall game (striking in particular) with Tarverdyan. Maybe she should have listened to her mother when she asked Rousey to stay away from Tarverdyan. Maybe Rousey was never that good at all. She was simply the product of the UFC’s marketing hype. But then maybe the current UFC women’s bantamweight champion Nunes is the real deal. She’s a complete fighter who can win in several ways. What do you think?