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Olympic boxer who sparred with Ronda Rousey: ‘I just don’t see’ her leaving Tarverdyan

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Women’s boxing standouts Mikaela Mayer and Diana Prazak, both of whom have sparred with Ronda Rousey, give their take on the UFC star’s boxing abilities, and their experiences with coach Edmond Tarverdyan.

UFC 207: Nunes v Rousey Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Not too long after Ronda Rousey’s KO win over Bethe Correia, which put her punching power on full display, there was some considerable push towards Rousey being not just an MMA superstar, but a force in the boxing ring. She was even put on the cover of RING Magazine just prior to her eventual UFC 193 loss to actual accomplished women’s boxing champion Holly Holm.

Rousey (12-2) was stopped in 48 seconds by Amanda Nunes at UFC 207, once again exposing her flaws as a striker. There were little details revealed about her most recent fight camp, but we do know that US Olympic boxer Mikaela Mayer was brought in to train with the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion.

In an interview with Sky Sports, the Rio 2016 quarter-finalist described how her sparring sessions went with Rousey.

"We went at it 100 percent," Mayer said. "For me, as an Olympic-style boxer, it was good work because she gave me that style. She lets her hands go, she punches hard. She kept coming forwards so I had to punch in combinations, I couldn't just throw two. When she got on the inside, I had to work her body."

Meanwhile, Australian former world boxing champion Diana Prazak was also interviewed by Sky Sports, as she critiqued Rousey’s striking skills from the Nunes fight.

"She was stiff, she's not a striker, and you don't punch a puncher," Prazak said.

"She's not a boxer, that's not something you pick up in a couple of months. I started working with Ronda over two years ago but, but when she was going to fight Holly Holm, they stopped me being her sparring partner."

Rousey’s coach, Edmond Tarverdyan, has previously made rather bold claims that Ronda was dropping world champion boxers in the gym. It’s a line that Prazak says was directed at her, and is otherwise a fictitious tale.

"He was talking about me," Prazak said. "My trainer rang him to say 'why would you make that up?' It's an untruth. I hope she comes back with a totally different team around her who look after her safety."

While Prazak is among those who feel that Rousey should ditch Tarverdyan and change camps, Mayer had a different opinion of Tarverdyan based on her experience.

"I didn't know what to expect - as a boxer, you don't like doing mitt-work with other coaches because they never match up. But he was really good - he made me work long, straight punches which is the Olympic style. Nothing super fancy.

"You can tell their connection is so strong, they have a really tight bond. When people talk about her finding another coach, I just don't see that.

"You have to take responsibility for yourself, every time you have a loss you can't just blame your coach. You have to say 'what did I do wrong?' The coach is a big part of it, but you can't blame them every time you don't win a fight."

Rousey has somewhat broken her silence through a J.K. Rowling quote posted on her Instagram page, which reads, “And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”