Ronda Rousey was an Olympic medal-winning judoka with little striking experience before stepping into Glendale Fighting Club. There, she has become a dangerous boxer with knockout power. Just ask Alexis Davis.
Rousey's hands have become so good that her coach, Edmond Tarverdyan, said she has never lost a round against female boxers at the gym. Does part of Tarverdyan wonder what would happen if "Rowdy" crossed over into the sweet science? Not really. He already thinks he knows.
"I know she can do it," said Tarverdyan, who was an accomplished boxer and Muay Thai fighter. "I know she wins the boxing world title. Ronda has nothing to prove to me. I know what kind of fighter I have on my hands."
Rousey meets Bethe Correia in the main event of UFC 190 on Aug. 1. The best part of Correia's game is her stand up. She is coming off a TKO win over Rousey's close friend Shayna Baszler last August. Tarverdyan thinks Rousey will get the better of Correia on the feet -- and everywhere else.
He's not the only one Most others feel the same. Rousey (11-0) is as much as a 15-to-1 favorite and the fight is being called one of the biggest title mismatches in UFC history. Tarverdyan doesn't know what to do about it. Rousey, after all, has won her last two fights in a combined 30 seconds. She's finished every single one of her opponents, all but one in the first round.
"I want there to be more fighters that are great," Tarverdyan said. "She loves challenges. That's what makes her great. The reality is that the girl is just too good."
There is the potential of a fight with Cris Cyborg looming. Cyborg is the Invicta FC women's featherweight champion and one of the most feared female fighters ever. Cyborg and Rousey are 1 and 2 with regards to the best women's MMA fighters in the world, though the order is debatable.
Tarverdyan, though, doesn't think Cyborg and her incomparable knockout power will pose much of a match for Rousey.
"It doesn't matter, heavy hands," Tarverdyan said. "Ronda is too elite of an athlete. It's not about just having heavy hands. It's about being intelligent in the Octagon and Ronda is the most intelligent fighter. I witness that every day in the gym."
Cyborg would need to make Rousey's 135-pound weight class to be brought into the UFC for a title fight. It still remains to be seen if she can do it, but she said she's in the process of trying. That would be the biggest women's MMA fight of all time. But it's one that Tarverdyan brushes off just like any other.
"Ronda spars with boxing world champions that punch way harder than Cyborg," Rousey said. "Ronda has never lost a round in the gym. A round. With boxing world champions. What is Cyborg?"
The most decorated former boxer in women's MMA is Holly Holm and she's also undefeated. Holm was 33-2 as a pro boxer and three-division champion. In MMA, she has six knockouts in nine career wins. Again, Tarverdyan dismisses Holm in favor of his pupil.
"I think Ronda beats Holly Holm in a boxing match any given day, so it doesn't matter," he said.
If there are no challenges, why keep doing it? Rousey has said it's not about the money, but helping women's MMA sustain long after she's gone. With more and more movie deals coming her way, Rousey is being pulled in multiple different directions. Tarverdyan doesn't know how much longer she'll fight and he won't speculate, either.
"She's dominant," he said. "She's in her prime right now. I don't like giving a time [limit]."