The last time Ronda Rousey had full exposure to the MMA media was during the build-up to her 2015 title fight against Holly Holm. Since she was knocked out in that fight, she merely had sporadic appearances and interviews afterwards, even through the preparations for her return fight against Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 last December.
Rousey, who was a media darling just a couple of years ago, never did any press conferences or open workouts leading up to the Nunes fight. According to her coach Edmond Tarverdyan, it was a collective decision the entire team made, which for him, should not be given that much meaning to.
“We’ve done too much media and a lot of work. So we decided just to stay away for one fight,” Tarverdyan said on a recent MMA Hour episode (via MMA Fighting). “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. 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.”
Rousey’s performance at UFC 207 was a far cry from the highlight reel finishes she put on from 2013 to 2015. This time around, the tables were turned, and she was the one being stopped in less than a minute.
But Tarverdyan nonetheless remains proud of Rousey’s performance against Nunes.
“Nunes is a big puncher and Ronda got caught from the beginning. You saw how fit she was — she didn’t even go down,” Tarverdyan explained. “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.”
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