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06th Jan 2017

Critics of Ronda Rousey’s coach probably won’t enjoy Chael Sonnen’s message to them

Edmond's getting a lot of the blame.

Ben Kiely

When Amanda Nunes annihilated Ronda Rousey inside one round, a lot of Edmond Tarverdyan’s detractors were rubbing their hands together.

If there was a pound-for-pound ranking of the least popular coaches in MMA, Edmond Tarverdyn would be right at the top of the pile. He’s just not well-liked among the MMA community. Not by a long shot.

Whether it’s his hysterical cornering technique, his short fuse or his deluded opinion of Ronda Rousey’s loss to Holly Holm, a lot of people seem to find something to dislike about the Gelndale Fight Club head coach.

His descent into a laughing stock was really sealed when famed coach Mark Henry used his very name as an insult to sling mud at their rivals. The New Jersey native once referred to John Kavanagh as the ‘Irish Edmond’ in a heated Instagram post. He called him ‘the Irish Edmond’ as if that was some sort of massively offensive insult.

There’s just something about this guy that lights a fire in people’s bellies.

Naturally enough, when Amanda Nunes starched Ronda Rousey at UFC 207 to successfully defend her title, Tarverdyan received a far share of the blame. He got it particularly rough this time because the fight marked the second bout in a row that Rousey was outclassed on the feet, a huge embarrassment for the coach considering that area’s supposed to be his specialty.

However, Bellator star Chael Sonnen doesn’t believe people should be so quick to take aim at Tarverdyan. As he explained on a recent episode of his podcast You’re Welcome, there needs to be a qualifier before someone should be allowed criticise the coach.

“I haven’t the foggiest idea how a fighter’s loss gets blamed on a coach and boy, it sure feels like you’re trying to take the spotlight off what happened. The coach wasn’t in the ring and the coach never is. If you want to blame coach Edmond then ask yourself this one thing and then go ahead, roast him if you qualify.”

“Here’s the qualifier you need to ask yourself – when she was on top, when coach Edmond’s fighter was the world champion selling out arenas, marquee, main eventing shows, did you compliment him. If the answer is yes, if you did credit him and his coaching and his strategies, when his athlete was on top, have at roasting him now.”

He added that it wasn’t that long ago when Rousey was considered to be invincible, when she was dusting everyone the UFC put in front of her with that trusty armbar. If you want to lay into Edmond, Sonnen believes you must first have acknowledged his contribution towards her being such a dominant champion for so long.

“My feeling is that’s going to shut most people up. If you’re not going to compliment people on the good, then I’m hearing just the opposite that, ‘she was already good. She was already on top. She was already a medalist in the Olympic games.’ All true statements, but you didn’t give him his due when she was finishing people in 20 seconds.”

“If you didn’t give him his due for the good stuff, he can’t be on the blame for the bad. You take the good with the bad.”

This almost definitely won’t be a popular opinion, but the possibility of being labeled controversial has never stopped the American Gangster from speaking his mind in the past. Why start now?