Ronda Rousey’s coach said he is still unsure whether the former ‘Queen of MMA’ will make a comeback, but if she did he wants her to fight Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino.
“That’s the one,” Edmond Tarverdyan told The MMA Hour on Monday. “I want that fight. When I trained Ronda, I know Ronda could beat Cyborg. I know that. Cyborg is too slow.”
Rousey hasn’t fought since December 2016 when she was destroyed inside 48 seconds by Amanda Nunes, her second defeat in a row after losing her UFC bantamweight title to Holly Holm a year earlier.
Despite being overwhelmed by Nunes, Tarverdyan – who has been blamed for Rousey’s woes by many pundits – said he wants her to fight formidable featherweight champion Cyborg, who recently won the UFC belt by beating Tonya Evinger via TKO at UFC 214, and is unbeaten since her pro debut 12 years ago.
“It’s gonna be her decision, if she fights,” Tarverdyan said. “One more, I don’t know. I’ve spoken to her. I don’t know if she’ll do it.
“One more fight, maybe. If she really can. If her body does give her one more fight and she really wants to mentally, she might. It’s 50-50 right now I would say.”
Rousey has been an outspoken critic of Cyborg’s past use of performance enhancing drugs, while their difference in weight meant that a fight never happened.
Still, Tarverdyan said that Cyborg could bring out the best in Rousey, although he’s not sure the star, who recently got married to fellow MMA fighter Travis Browne, is interested with her reportedly considering a switch to WWE.
“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.
“That’s why if she wants to make a comeback and get one fight, I think she will do the best she’s ever done and I think she’ll be victorious.
“Because I know Ronda’s personality, because she’s happy right now and she has a good challenge in front of her that she focuses on. I think whatever she wants to do right now, she can do. It’s in her mind.”