Edmond Tarverdyan, Ronda Rousey’s longtime coach, has faced criticism from a chorus of voices for years, most notably AnnMaria De Mars, Rousey’s mother and the first American to win a gold medal at the World Judo Championships. Despite the heat—which only got hotter after her crushing loss to Holly Holm in UFC 193—Rousey has repeatedly said she is sticking by her coach.
And Tarverdyan is sticking by her.
In an interview with ESPN‘s Brett Okamoto published Thursday, Tarverdyan defended his fighter’s performance (and his coaching) during UFC 193, even falling on the sword for the soul-crushing loss to Holm, the new undefeated welterweight champion.
“When you’re up there, somebody needs to be blamed for it,” Tarverdyan said. “I’m taking the blame. I’m OK with that. I know what reality is. I accept reality…. As long as my fighter believes in me, I believe in my fighter and we’ll move on from there.”
Tarverdyan also told ESPN that she would need more time to rest and train for her next fight against Holm. He added that he and Rousey will be “taking advice from boxing trainers,” although he said she would probably never watch the film from her loss to Holm.
“I know how to speak to Ronda. I know Ronda very well,” he said. “She doesn’t need to watch that fight. The fight is over. It’s about what we’re doing now. It’s my job to watch the footage and I’m dedicating everything I have to Ronda’s rematch with Holly.”