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Coach: 'I know' Ronda Rousey would beat Holly Holm in a boxing match

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

GLENDALE, Calif. -- Ronda Rousey is an Olympic medalist judoka who just began training in boxing a few years ago. Holly Holm is a former three-division boxing champion.

Yet, Edmond Tarverdyan, Rousey's coach, believes Rousey could defeat Holm inside a ring with the big gloves.

"Ronda beats Holly in a boxing match," Tarverdyan said Wednesday during a UFC 184 media day at Glendale Fighting Club. "I don't believe it -- I know so. And I believe in my fighter a lot."

Holm holds an impressive 33-2-3 record in pro boxing. She competed professionally from 2002 to 2013, winning WBC, WBA and IBF titles, among others. She was The Ring magazine's female fighter of the year in 2005 and 2006.

But Tarverdyan is so confident in Rousey's developing striking ability that he would pick Rousey to win. The coach, a former boxer and Muay Thai fighter himself, bases his judgment on what Rousey does in training.

"We have her sparring with boxing world champions in the gym," Tarverdyan said. "I've never seen Ronda lose a single round. You don't see guy MMA fighters out there -- name me one -- that can get the best of boxing world champions. Within every round. Maybe one round they might. I'm not going to underestimate any of the fighters out there or talk negative about any of the MMA fighters out there. They're great. There's a few of them can really box and they do box with professional world champions. But not the way Ronda does."

Rousey, the UFC women's bantamweight champion, won all of her pro fights by armbar submission up until last year. She used a knee to the liver to dispatch Sara McMann at UFC 170 in February 2014 and then an overhand right, judo throw and repeated punches on the ground to finish Alexis Davis at UFC 175 in July.

In total, Rousey spent only 83 seconds in the Octagon all year.

Rousey defends her title against Cat Zingano in the main event UFC 184 on Feb. 28 in Los Angeles. Holm will co-headline the event against Raquel Pennington. The two will cross paths for the first time at Staples Center and Rousey said it was a "very reasonable possibility" that she would fight Holm sometime in the future in the UFC.

The idea of a judoka taking on a boxer is kind of a throwback to the old days of the UFC when fighters from different disciplines faced off. Rousey finds that idea kind of cool, much in the same way she enjoyed facing McMann, an Olympic silver medalist in wrestling.

"It's interesting to see that part of MMA again," Rousey said. "The guys are more like, OK, there's that MMA style now. Whereas, the women are at that point where everyone is coming from a different discipline."

Rousey (10-0) is beginning to transcend that right now, while Holm (7-0) is hard at work on her wrestling and ground game every day.

"She's a world champion boxer that has come into MMA," Rousey said. "The level of athletes that are coming into women's MMA because we have so much fewer options when it comes to combat sports, I think presents a lot more interesting matchups than the men."

Both are undefeated and bragging rights will get decided down the line if they stay that way -- in the Octagon, not a judo mat or boxing ring.

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