Will Ronda Rousey stay with Edmond Tarverdyan and the Glendale Fighting Club or will she take her mother’s advice and change coaches and teams? Many MMA pundits, have speculated that Ronda will likely need to change teams and become a more rounded MMA fighter in order to recapture the UFC Bantamweight title she lost to Holly Holm by head kick knockout at UFC 193. Since Ronda’s home is in Venice Beach, CA along with her family and media and entertainment opportunities, flying off to a remote training camp in another part of the United States or the world likely won’t be an option for her. The greater Los Angeles market is a hotbed for mixed martial arts with no shortage of elite coaches and camps that can help Rousey improve her striking, wrestling, and overall MMA game. Even if she elects to stay with her current coach and GFC, it might not exist much longer due to Tarverdyan’s legal issues.
Here are 5 Los Angeles area MMA camps where Rousey can take her talents to improve her game.
CSW: Erik Paulson is considered a MMA pioneer who has trained under martial arts’ legends Daniel Inosanto, the Machados, Rob Kaman, and the Gracies. He is a master of catch wrestling, a BJJ Black Belt, and has extensive training and experience in muay thai, boxing, wrestling, Jeet Kune Do, and sambo. He is basically a human weapon. He has coached former UFC champions Brock Lesnar, Sean Sherk, and Josh Barnett as well as Ken Shamrock, Cub Swanson, James Wilk and Babalu Sobral. In addition to Paulson’s experience, another selling point would be Rousey’s two close friends Shayna Baszler and Jessamyn Duke who both train at CSW. The drive from Venice to Fullerton is a hike, but so was the drive from Venice to Glendale. If she wants to work with a true martial arts master that is no BS and has coached UFC champions, CSW could be a great landing spot for Rousey.
King’s MMA: The drive down the 405 from Venice to Huntington Beach is brutal most days, but the gym is full of champions, contenders, and monsters. Rafael Cordeiro has built a reputation as a builder of champions from his days at Chute Boxe and at King’s MMA. He has coached Pride and UFC champions Wanderlei Silva, Shogun Rua, and Lyoto Machida and currently trains UFC Heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum and UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael Dos Anjos. It sounds like a match made in heaven except for the fact that Rousey’s rival Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino also trains out of the gym. While Dos Anjos stated in a recent interview that it wouldn’t be a big deal, it likely would be an issue for both Rousey and Cyborg.
Hayastan Academy: Sometimes you can go home. Rousey trained judo for a number of years at the Hayastan MMA/Judo Academy in North Hollywood, CA. The gym is run by martial arts pioneers and legends Gokor Chivichyan and “Judo” Gene LeBell. While Hayastan is known for producing great judo competitors, it is a complete MMA gym. The gym’s kickboxing coach is former world champion Benny “The Jet” Urquidez. Rousey and her mother are close to the team from their judo days and she has trained with their top Judo/MMA competitors including MMA and Judo veteran Karo Parisyan.
Freddie Roach: Freddie Roach’s name has come up on a list of potential MMA coaches for Rousey, but he is a boxing coach. Yes, has trained numerous world boxing champions and has worked with former UFC champion Georges St. Pierre, but he was one of many coaches to work with GSP. GSP still had Firas Zahabi and John Danher to use as his primary MMA coaches. While Freddie Roach can help advance Rousey’s boxing game, it will still take years for her to catch up to Holly Holm’s level. Rousey has the ability to catch up to Holm in terms of having a well-rounded MMA game, but that is beyond the scope of what Freddie Roach can offer to Rousey.
Kenny Florian: This is a dark horse candidate. Florian was an overachiever in his MMA career who succeeded on hard work, great technical skills, game plans, and his brains. He trained under some of the biggest names in MMA and martial arts including Renzo Gracie, Mark Dellagrotte, and Firas Zahabi. If Rousey were to build her own camp around herself, Florian would be an ideal coach. She could still work with Rener and Ryron Gracie for BJJ and even Freddie Roach for boxing with Florian there to fill the gaps in MMA and tie everything together into a cohesive game plan.
Is Ronda training now somewhere for her next fight