A lot has been made about Ronda Rousey’s loyalty to her coach Edmond Tarverdyan. The former champ has been with Tarverdyan for years and helped her achieve a lot of success but after two losses everything gets questions. Now it’s coming to light that Rousey did spar with legit training partners and according to Raquel Pennington she was brought in to spar with the former champ heading into UFC 207 in a recent interview with ESPN.
“I can’t really talk about how sparring went or what we did. Ronda asked me to sign a non-disclosure agreement, so I did. All I can say is the fact I was able to put in work with her and that it was solid work. I can’t say too much more than that.”
Pennington is the #5 ranked bantamweight in the UFC’s official rankings. “Rocky” was featured on The Ultimate Fighter season 18 when Rousey was a coach alongside her rival, Miesha Tate. Pennington was on Tate’s team and made it to the semi-finals of the show where she lost a decision to Jessica Rakoczy. After her performance the UFC rewarded Pennington with a spot on the Finale undercard where she defeated veteran Roxanne Modafferi. Since the show she has gone 6-2 and won four straight fights. In her last outing at UFC 205 in New York Pennington defeated her coach from the show, Miesha Tate to cement herself as a legitimate title contender in the division.
After Rousey’s loss to Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 many critics have bashed her standup. The former champ didn’t even keep her hands up or move her head and was an easy target as Nunes teed off on her until the ref stopped the fight 48 seconds into the first round.
Since the loss Rousey issued a statement saying she wants to take some time off to rethink her career and what to do next. Rousey has made enough money to retire and walk away but as competitive as she is “Rowdy” could come back to try to get back to the belt. The WWE is also a viable option as Rousey appeared at Wrestlemania 31 with The Rock and she could make a lot of money working limited dates for Vince McMahon.