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Edmond Tarverdyan: If she comes back, ‘I want’ Ronda Rousey to fight Cris Cyborg

Ronda Rousey’s coach believes that should the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion return to MMA, Cris Cyborg should be the opponent.

MMA: UFC 207-Nunes vs Rousey Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

We’re fast approaching a full year since Ronda Rousey’s completely non-competitive 48-second TKO loss to Amanda Nunes at UFC 207. There’s been no indication from Rousey that she’ll return to MMA after suffering her second consecutive defeat, but in the event the former women’s bantamweight champion makes a comeback, her longtime coach, Edmond Tarverdyan, has an opponent in mind. (Quotes via MMA Fighting)

“I want [Cris Cyborg],” Tarverdyan said on The MMA Hour. “When I trained Ronda, I know Ronda could beat Cyborg. I know that. Cyborg is too slow.”

Cyborg is the current UFC women’s featherweight champion, and at the peak of Ronda’s success, there was plenty of interest in seeing Rousey take on the Brazilian powerhouse. Of course, this was all predicated on Cyborg moving down to 135, and that obviously never materialized.

Would Rousey be willing to take a Cyborg fight now, though? Edmond isn’t sure.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know. We’ll live and we’ll see. If injuries weren't there and everything was where it was, we would take that fight and I’m telling you she’s too slow for us. And Ronda will beat her. Ronda needs a challenge that she really needs to be like this person is no good and I need to prove something to the whole world. That’s how Ronda works good.

“And she didn’t have that with Holly, she’s the one that pushed and wanted some aggressiveness before the weigh-ins. This one she has it. She said she cheated before, she’s hurt women and she wants to come and beat her.”

Rousey recently got married to UFC heavyweight Travis Browne, and has otherwise been rumored for a serious career switch to professional wrestling. According to Tarverdyan, he considers it “50-50” that Rousey ever goes back to the sport where she garnered superstar status with her dominant victories. She’s been the one who’s been thoroughly dominated in each of her last two fights, and for what it’s worth, Cyborg has resigned herself to the idea that a bout between herself and Rousey won’t ever happen.

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