UFC 157: Ronda Rousey’s striking coach Edmond Tarverdyan talks about the fight and what’s next

Amid the post-fight media madness Saturday night, we caught up with Glendale Fighting Club’s Edmond Tarverdyan, also known as the striking coach for Ronda Rousey, after the bantamweight champion made a successful first title defense by defeating Liz Carmouche at UFC 157 at the Honda Center.

Tarverdyan’s thoughts on Rousey’s performance:

“Ronda performed amazingly. You know, we got her where we wanted to with her striking. We got her on the cage, again no one can get away from her. That’s where she wants to be. Even if she strikes, you can tell all her striking is molding to where I want it to be. And she’ll get the best of it too. Did a great job, took her down and, yes, she gave up position a little bit. She’s a little bit comfortable too much sometimes. That’s what she told me. And she gave up her back. But you know she’s so tough. She was thinking more of her clothes getting off, her shorts and her bra. So it took her a while to get her off her back, but she did and she got her in a great position and hit her a lot from side control and kept on punching her and gave it to her and hard punches on the ground. Liz is tough. Take nothing away. And then went past her guard and mounted her down and just submitted her.”

How was he reacting when Carmouche got Rousey’s back?

“Well, you know, I’ve been doing this long enough for me to be nice and calm. If you start panicking and screaming, even if she gets out of that position, then your head is all over the place and it’ll cost you after that. And what happens after that when she gets out? So you have to be calm and give calm advice. She was comfortable. I was watching her face. She was comfortable until she got, you know, her face. Liz went through on the face instead of the neck, got her jaw a little bit hurting. Not a problem. Not a problem at all.”

What’s next for Rousey?

“I guess having Miesha Tate fighting Cat (Zingano), we’ll go out and watch that fight. It’s great. She’ll have competition and we love competition. That’s gonna motivate her even though she trains hard. It’s fun to have competition, mentally to know these girls are training hard and they’re coming out there hard. All the girls were out there to witness the main event. The whole crowd was very into the fight and they did an amazing job, both girls, Ronda and Liz. It’s exciting. We’ve got some fights in front of us. That’s what we need — competition. Always. As long as we got good girls in front of Ronda, she’ll step up in competition, I guarantee you guys.”

How is Rousey different than when she first fought Tate a year ago?

“I’ve always said it was the first time Ronda went down to 135. It was a big deal, the weight cut and everything. Now she does it very easily. Very professionally, she makes 135. But it’s the first time you’re always be nervous doing something the first time. But her body has adjusted, she’s very strong now and she’s looking great. She’s improved a lot. She’ll improve every day. I’ll tell you guys, if they want to stand and bang with her, she’ll get the best of it. I’ll keep on saying it. I wish I don’t see that day. I wish she keeps on winning with the armbar, but if it happens, I know she’s gonna get the best of all these girls. She’s a great striker.”

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UFC 157: Liz Carmouche talks about getting Ronda Rousey’s back, her performance and the fans

Liz Carmouche came up short in her upset bid against bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey at UFC 157 on Saturday night at the Honda Center, but she undoubtedly gained plenty of fans.

At one point, “Girlrilla” had Rousey’s back and was going for a rear-naked choke before attempting a neck crank. It was a precarious spot for Rousey, who shook the challenger off about halfway through the round and eventually got the armbar tapout at 4:49 of the first round.

We got a quick one-on-one after the fight with Carmouche, who earned a lot of praise and respect for her effort.

On getting Ronda’s back:

“I really wanted to get under her chin and unfortunately I was secure on the neck crank and I was like, “Man, I’ll give it all I got and hopefully get it.” But a neck crank is really hard with people. I was trying to get under her chin and I got it in her mouth. I was like, “Whoa, you know, I’ll go for the mouth and get some teeth and that’s a tap.” I’ve been in those situations and I won’t tap to it, but I thought, maybe I’ll try. And it didn’t work out, but it happens.”

On what she came away with from her performance:

“That I’m in the UFC. I gave her the hardest time she’s ever had. I put her in a compromising situation she’s never been in before. I left marks on her. Normally she comes out of her fights unscathed and it’s a quick finish. And that’s the closest fight she’s ever had.”

On the positive reaction from the fans at the sold-out Honda Center:

“It’s great, you know. The fans are what make the fights. If the fans aren’t behind you, the fans don’t want you to be there, then you’re not gonna be there. So to know they’re behind me is great because I know that I’m gonna keep being in the UFC as long as they support me.”

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UFC 157: Chael Sonnen loses Henderson-Machida bet, licks Rashad Evans’ shoe

Chael Sonnen is many things — tough fighter, top-notch trash-talker, insightful commentator, and as we’re seeing on this season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” one heck of a coach.

Add to that list: a man of his word.

Sonnen said if Lyoto Machida beat his former training partner, Dan Henderson, in the co-maint event at UFC 157, he would lick Rashad Evans’ shoe.

Well, Machida won a split decision Saturday night at the Honda Center. And Sonnen paid his debt on the FUEL TV post-fight show:

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UFC 157: Ronda Rousey talks about the Liz Carmouche neck crank and nerves

UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey talks about the moment in the first round Saturday night at UFC 157 when challenger Liz Carmouche was on Rousey’s back and going for a standing rear-naked choke and switched it to a neck crank:

“That was the most vulnerable a position I’ve been in so far in my career. That was pretty tight, that neck crank, and I was very happy to get out of it. She had the choke across my mouth and the angle pushed my mouth-guard out of my mouth. Her forearm was pushing against my teeth and that can’t have been any more fun for her than it was for me… crazy sport we’re in, huh?”

Rousey on whether she was nervous fighting in the first women’s fight in UFC history in front of 15,525 fans at a sold-out Honda Center:

 “I was actually less nervous walking out than I was for some of my earlier fights. I felt like the UFC champion and I know how hard I am working. This was a wild ride and I can’t wait to get back in the Octagon.”

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UFC 157: Ronda Rousey victorious in a night of firsts

Apologies for the blogging issues last night. Serious computer  issues, which is what happens when you get more than 15,000 people in an arena with open wi-fi access.

Anyway, it was an amazing night. First women’s fight in the UFC as bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey got tested by Liz Carmouche, who almost made it out of the first round. Carmouche also became the first openly gay fighter to ever step into the Octagon and no doubt picked up a lot of fans with her gutsy performance.

My story on their fight and the main card is here:


I’ll have more quotes and reactions throughout the day.

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UFC 157: Mike Chiesa gets Anton Kuivanen to tap

Fan favorite Mike Chiesa enjoyed his UFC debut by forcing Anton Kuivanen to tap out due a rear-naked choke at 2:29 of the second round.

Kuivanen (18-5) dictated most of the action in the first round, but Chiesa (9-0), the winner of Season 15 of “The Ultimate Fighter,”picked up the pace in the second. He eventually got Kuivanen’s back, wrestled him to the ground and patiently worked for the submission.

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UFC 157: Dennis Bermudez earns split-decision win over Matt Grice

In a close fight that brought the Honda Center crowd to its feet Dennis Bermudez beat Matt Grice by split decision.

The featherweights were fairly even the first two rounds, but Bermudez (11-3) threw some heavy punches in the third. Grice (15-5) somehow managed to avoid going down, but it was obviously a decisive round as the judges scored it 28-29, 29-28, 29-28 for Bermudez.

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UFC 157: Sam Stout by split decision Caros Fodor

In a lightweight battle to kick off the FX prelims, UFC veteran lightweight Sam Stout pounded out a split-decision victory over Caros Fodor.

The judges scored it 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 for the 28-year-old Stout, who was making his 15th appearance on a UFC card. Stout (20-8-1) did a good job attacking Fodor’s body the first two rounds, but former Strikeforce fighter Fodor (7-3) was busier in the third.


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UFC 157: Kenny Robertson submits Brock Jardine

In a dominating performance, Kenny Robertson was relentless in his welterweight against Brock Jardine before forcing the submission with a kneebar at 2:57 of the first round.

Robertson (12-2) almost had a rear-naked choke on Jardine (9-3) before eventually getting into a rarely-seen position where he was able to grab Jardine’s ankle and tweak his hamstring/groin hard enough to make him tap.

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