Ronda Rousey believes undefeated middleweight Edmen Shahbazyan will win UFC gold sooner or later, and when that day comes, the person who coached each fighters will unload a burden he has been carrying since Rousey’s final loss.
“As soon as he wins the title, I’ll inform everyone to close up and watch him struggle,” coach Edmond Tarverdyan mentioned. “I needn’t reply questions anymore, as a result of I’ve answered so much about Ronda and what occurred.”
Rousey’s UFC profession resulted in 2016 after her second consecutive loss amid criticism that Tarverdyan mismanaged one of many biggest feminine MMA fighters of all time. Now Tarverdyan has an opportunity at vindication with Shahbazyan, who headlines his first predominant occasion Saturday when he faces Derek Brunson on the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Holly Holm was scheduled to face Irene Aldana within the authentic predominant occasion, however Aldana examined constructive for the coronavirus. That offered the headlining alternative for Shahbazyan, who has developed from a 15-year-old “throwing dummy” for Rousey’s judo strikes to a 22-year-old prospect trying to break Jon Jones’ file because the youngest UFC champion. Shahbazyan has till July 2021 to interrupt that file, and he is assured it is inside attain.
UFC president Dana White mentioned if Shahbazyan will get by Brunson, which can be his hardest problem but, he’ll be “taking a look at breaking into the Prime 5,” and a win at that degree would result in a title shot.
“It isn’t if, it is when [Shahbazyan becomes champ],” Rousey advised White throughout a latest interview. “This child is particular, he’s one-in-a-generation, and I do know what the f— I am taking a look at, and you already know what you are taking a look at.
“And it is attention-grabbing to lastly be on this time when everybody else is beginning to take discover. He is such a candy and quiet child, however man he is a killer. When folks take a second to observe him, they’re going to by no means have the ability to neglect him.”
Related reward was lavished on Rousey throughout her historic UFC run, which started on Feb. 23, 2013, when she defeated Liz Carmouche within the first ladies’s struggle in UFC historical past. Rousey defended the belt 5 occasions earlier than shedding to Holm on Nov. 14, 2015, after which to Amanda Nunes on Dec. 30, 2016. These have been her final fights earlier than leaving the UFC.
The knock in opposition to Tarverdyan was that he tried to power Rousey, who had a judo background, into being extra of a stand-up fighter, which performed into the strengths of Holm — a former boxing champ — and Nunes, who will be the most devastating striker in ladies’s MMA historical past.
“Ronda acquired caught [against Holm], an excellent fighter who works on timing and was a boxing world champion,” Tarverdyan mentioned. “Holly caught her, she misplaced, s— occurs. Then all of the criticism.”
“You lose a struggle, after which you must make a comeback, and so they offer you one other powerful struggle,” Tarverdyan added. “We knew Amanda may punch with each fingers. It is troublesome, [Rousey had] six knee surgical procedures. She could not even bend her knee. And we’re nonetheless in a position to struggle all these fights due to a lot onerous work and dedication, and going to remedy, spending eight hours a day. That is why she was loyal to me and knew I may do that pretty much as good as anyone else that is on the market at half of these large gyms, pondering they know how you can coach or I do not.”
Rousey and Tarverdyan are Shabazyan’s managers and negotiate his offers with the UFC. It is a good distance from when Shahbazyan first met Rousey.
“He was 15 years previous, and he was nonetheless larger than me, however he was certainly one of my coaching companions,” Rousey mentioned. “He realized armbars from me. He was getting beat up by me. He was on the fitness center at a really pivotal time. Him and his brother [Leon] would present up with 10th Planet jiu-jitsu books and be fully obsessed. I’ve by no means seen youngsters extra obsessive about MMA, and that was the primary era of that.
“I got here up in judo and different issues, and MMA turned a factor that everybody else needed to regulate to after they have been already consultants in one thing else, and ‘Little Ed’ — we referred to as him little, however now he is gigantic — he’s the primary era of these youngsters that MMA is all he did. There is not any fashion he needed to conform into MMA with. MMA is his fashion, and it is not like he is simply mediocre at every little thing, he’s simply f—ing superior at every little thing.”
“We used to name him Neo; he’s the one.”
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) July 29, 2020
Maybe a very powerful factor Shahbazyan realized from Rousey was how you can take care of the highlight, and it is an necessary lesson for somebody with Shahbazyan’s aspirations.
“I used to be witnessing it because it was occurring to her,” he mentioned. “On the fitness center I’d see all of the media and the hype round and every little thing like that, that sort of gave me a glimpse of the long run.”
Shahbazyan additionally was round throughout Rousey’s losses and exit from the UFC, and the following criticism of his coach. He mentioned his focus is on performing, however he admits it is cool to be an instance of Tarverdyan’s teaching capacity, “proving these haters mistaken.”
Tarverdyan, although, does not need his story to get in the best way.
“He is advised my buddies, ‘I can not wait to whip everyone’s ass to allow them to understand how good Coach is,'” Tarverdyan mentioned. “He does not inform me, as a result of I inform him to remain targeted, do not put something private on the road. It is your profession, simply keep targeted, take into consideration your self, take heed to what I am saying and you are going to achieve success. And he believes that.”
Tarverdyan’s focus is on Shahbazyan, however he admits the pursuit of vindication motivates him.
“I’d say it is each,” he mentioned. “I do give it some thought, I gotta be sincere with you. I’ll come again and present all these motherf—ers what I can do. I do. I am not going to deceive you and say ‘I do not, and let my work present itself.’ I do. That motivates me. It does. It isn’t like solely redemption. I do know I can coach. I do know what I’ve carried out.”
Tarverdyan factors to the champions he has coached in varied disciplines, together with kickboxing and boxing, as proof.
“It is extra about all these coaches, a number of the coaches, not all, a couple of of the coaches that attempted to make enjoyable of the scenario,” Tarverdyan mentioned. “You guys are coaches, too, you feed your households teaching, and I coach so many youth and younger youngsters, and all that destructive discuss was silly. It did harm my fitness center.
“However now everyone’s noticing what we will do.”