Ronda Rousey often calls her mother, former judo world champion Dr. AnnMaria De Mars, the most influential and inspirational person in her life. Now, however, Rousey appears to be caught in the middle of a conflict between her mom and her coach, Edmond Tarverdyan.
De Mars took aim at Tarverdyan in a new interview published this week, calling him "a terrible coach" and claiming that he "uses" Rousey.
"Edmond is a terrible coach and I will say it publicly," De Mars said. "I think he’s a terrible coach. I think he hit the lottery when Ronda walked in there. She was winning before she ever met him. She probably won 99 percent of the judo matches she ever fought in.
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"She won the junior worlds when she was 17. She got a bronze medal in the Olympics, she got a silver medal at the world championships, she was one of the top athletes in the world when she walked in there and he wouldn’t even give her the time of day for months. Somebody like that is a terrible coach. And I think she stays there, because it’s like somebody pitches a no-hitter when they’re wearing red underwear and they wear that red underwear every day. I think it’s superstition and I would caution anybody from going there."
"It’s bad that he uses her to lure people in," De Mars said. "I told Ronda, ‘I’m not going to be quiet about this anymore.’ He’s a bad person and people should not go there. And if he wants to sue me, that’s my honest opinion."
Since the interview went public, neither Rousey nor her coach has responded.
Rousey’s next fight is next month at UFC 193 in Australia. Tarverdyan is expected to be in her corner and, in all likelihood, De Mars also will be there to support her daughter as she always does.