Back in December of 2016, former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey returned from a lengthy hiatus and attempted to re-capture the title in a scrap with reigning champion Amanda Nunes. This attempt, as any fan will remember, went disastrously, as Rousey was brutally beaten down by Nunes in less than a minute.
In advance of this fight, Rousey participated in almost no media appearances– an extremely unprecedented thing for a star of her caliber. On the latest episode of The MMA Hour, Rousey’s controversial head coach Edmond Tarverdyan explained the reasons for her total media blackout in the buildup to UFC 207.
“We’ve done too much media and a lot of work,” Tarverdyan explained (h/t Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting.com). “So we decided just to stay away for one fight. I don’t think it was a big deal, just to stay away and focus on the fight. So we could have a different outcome — and we fell short. It didn’t work, but it didn’t mean we disrespected anybody. It was just a decision to make life easier and just move on like that.”
“She wasn’t feeling that good,” Tarverdyan continued. “Body wasn’t keeping up and we had to eliminate a lot of things so she could at least focus on training and make the fight happen somehow. That’s a decision we made. It had to be that way, so I wasn’t surprised [she didn’t do media]. I wasn’t.”
While the fight didn’t go as planned, Tarverdyan is still proud of Rousey’s performance:
“Nunes is a big puncher and Ronda got caught from the beginning,” Tarverdyan said. “You saw how fit she was — she didn’t even go down. Ronda took all those shots and she didn’t take a knee. She was stopped on her feet. She was so fit, she was so strong. That shows she was so strong and she’s not going down from all those big shots that she took. A lot of these girls, whoever took Amanda’s shots, they all went down. And she didn’t.”
Do you think it’s fair that Ronda Rousey didn’t have to partake in any media obligations ahead of UFC 207?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 9/25/2017.