clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Morning Report: Former Judo coach slams Ronda Rousey, says 'She owes her entire existence to our sport'

Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

We all know the story of UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.

About how the daughter of a World Champion hooked up with the famed 'Judo' Gene LeBell to train alongside future UFC stars before competing at two Olympic games, taking a bronze medal in the latter.

One Rousey coach we don't hear too much about is former Olympic silver medalist Jason Morris. In 2005, Rousey spent about eight months training under Morris in New York state, sleeping on a futon in his living room.

Morris has largely been left out of the narrative of Rousey's Judo career, but she found some space to profile him in her newly released autobiography.

According to Rousey, it wasn't the best of times.

"I was training under a coach I couldn't stand and who was taking my money," Rousey wrote in 'My Fight/ Your Fight.' "I was starving. I was not improving. 'What the (expletive) am I doing here?' I asked myself out loud."

Well, Morris hasn't read the book, but tells the Times Union 'he'll take the free advertising for his school, good or bad.'

"I was happy to be mentioned," Morris said. "(Rousey) acknowledges that we were part of her rise, and anybody with a brain can say, 'These people must have something going for them.'"

Morris also served as Rousey's national team coach for the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing.

"I'm a judo coach," said Morris. "I do the best I can, and (Rousey) came to me. I didn't seek her out. She wanted expert training, and I did the best I could at that time."

When Rousey arrived at his academy, Morris says 'There was nothing remarkable about her,' calling her 'an average teenage kid, kind of sloppy.'

"She was already an exceptional competitor, which she still is today," said Morris. "But she was raw, and there was a lot of room for technical advances. And that's basically where I filled in a lot of things that she does today, among other coaches. I'm just a small blip in her existence."

While Rousey credits her success to constant self improvement through tireless hard work, Morris says it wouldn't have been possible if not for her coaches.

"The reality is she owes her entire existence to our sport," Morris said. "Not to me or any one person. ... The judo community raised her, and this is why she's so successful."



Re. Match. Bellator breaks ratings record by 27 percent with Kimbo Slice vs. Ken Shamrock.

'I wish.' Gilbert Melendez says getting to Mexico City weeks early 'didn't make sense' financially.

No easy fight. Joanna Jedrzejczyk broke her thumb badly against Jessica Penne and could need surgery.

'I don't even think it's worth doing.' Dan Henderson is not interested in fights against Michael Bisping or Tim Kennedy.

Thank you. Tito Ortiz talks facing Liam McGeary for the Bellator light heavyweight title and why he turned down a rematch with Frank Shamrock.

Watch The MMA Hour with Dan Henderson, Gilbert Melendez, Makwan Amirkhani, Rafael Cordeiro, Michael Chandler, Joe Schilling and John Pollock.




Free Fight: Yoel Romero vs Clifford Starks.


Chael Sonnen breaks down Lyoto Machida vs. Yoel Romero.


Jonas Bilharinho talks imitating Conor McGregor for Jose Aldo and responds to Joe Rogan's compliments.


Robin Black talking about the Kimbo-Shamrock conspiracy talk.


More Jose Aldo promos.


Purple belt MMA journo rolling with blue belt Johny Hendricks.


Long watches.

Knuckle Up #360: Bellator 138, the magnitude of suck


UFC Octagonside Fight Night Berlin Reaction






Hang in there.








Looking good.


Get well soon.


We made it.



Announced yesterday (June 22 2015)

Rustam Khabilov out, Danny Castillo vs. Jim Miller at UFC on FOX 16



Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via zerkitty.

JJ & Ronda alike? WMMA talent base says yes.

Big for the division, Finishers, Charismatic, very experienced internationally at the highest levels in their base arts. It is often forgotten that both are not just successful in their base arts and WMMA because of technique. They are superior physical and mental athletes that could be good at most any sport they chose to do.

If the UFC added 125lbs and either 105lbs (more likely) or 145lbs (hope not) and had 4 weight classes instead of two, we would see little in added talent except maybe at 105lb, instead we'd get a split of the current talent within the weight classes. JJ just beat a former 105, Waterson is coming for the money not the weight class. Let's not kid ourselves about JJ or Ronda being big. 145lbs is so shallow you can watch it evaporate. It's a real shame that the 125lb class hasn't been added yet, allowing the women to settle into their proper weight classes.


Check out the rest of the post here.


Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting