Last week, fierce fighting broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the embattled territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. To date, more than 100 people have died in what is considered the most serious escalation between the two countries in years.
The two former Soviet states have previously clashed over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-populated region that is also internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.
In the wake of the recent clashes, former UFC and WWE champion Ronda Rousey took to social media to express solidarity with Armenia
“Armenia and Artsakh [Nagorno-Karabakh] are under attack!” former UFC bantamweight champion Rousey wrote in a post to her 13.1 million followers on Instagram. “Show your solidarity in this global effort to raise awareness. Express your outrage regarding the unprovoked attacks by Azerbaijan, assisted by Turkey and the overt desire for ethnic cleansing of Armenians from their ancestral homeland Artsakh.”
During her tenure as an MMA fighter, Rousey was coached by Edmond Tarverdyan, an Armenian trainer and founder of the Glendale Fighting Club. She also visited Armenia on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire — a genocide that modern-day Turkey refuses to acknowledge.
“[Armenians] have been very kind to me growing up. They accepted me into their culture and I wanted to do something special to help out for the 100-year anniversary and I thought there was no better effort to show than to come and be here in person,” Rousey said at the time.
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