We asked UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey to discuss some of the people chiefly responsible for her success. We posted one each day leading up to Rousey’s first defense of her 135-pound title tonight against Liz Carmouche at UFC 157 at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Today, Rousey talks about Manny Gamburyan, the UFC featherweight and finalist from Season 5 of “The Ultimate Fighter” who is a longtime friend and training partner:
Manny! I … love … Manny! I love Manny so much. When I tore my knee out when I was 15 years old, he’s the one who told my mom that he would be down to come and work with me every afternoon, five days a week, for the whole 2003. This was before I was ranked at all at the senior level in judo. This is before I had name anything.
He would show up every single afternoon in his parents’ minivan and work with me on everything I could do on one leg. He taught me my first triangle. He would hold my feet and have me do cartwheels and pushups all over the place. He would do everything he could to help me out and he offered to do it for free. My mom made him do it for $35 a day just to cover his gas. He’s just been the most selfless and caring teammate and friend that I’ve still worked with to this day.