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

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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."

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

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.

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Check out the rest of the post here.

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