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Edmond Tarverdyan ready to take on "The Ultimate Fighter" with Ronda Rousey

MMA: Glendale Fighting Club's Edmond Tarverdyan ready to lead Ronda Rousey's "Ultimate Fighter" coaching staff of Andy Dermenjian, Manny Gamburyan and Marina Shafir.

May 25, 2013|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • FILE PHOTO: Ronda Rousey, left, and Edmond Tarverdyan are set to take part in 18th season of "The Ultimate Fighter," which premieres on Sept. 4 on Fox Sports 1.
FILE PHOTO: Ronda Rousey, left, and Edmond Tarverdyan… (Roger Wilson/Staff…)

For more than a month’s time, Edmond Tarverdyan will be firmly entrenched in Las Vegas.

He’ll be doing what he loves: Training fighters and cornering combatants. But it’s hardly going to be a vacation.

For the first time in the history of “The Ultimate Fighter” show, the opposing coaches will be women, with Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s bantamweight champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey opposing eventual title challenger Cat Zingano.

Right next to Rousey, as he has been throughout her meteoric professional MMA career, will be Tarverdyan.

“It’s all about being there for Ronda,” said Tarverdyan, who leads Rousey and a stable of other mixed-martial-arts fighters and boxers training at his Glendale Fighting Club gym. “[The show is] gonna be great, I know it’s gonna be good. The ratings will be high.

“It’s gonna build up a big fight.”

While the show will no doubt build up the impending and much-anticipated title tilt between Rousey and Zingano set for December with episodic anticipation, it will also do as it has for the past 17 seasons, featuring a tournament to crown the next Ultimate Fighter.

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UFC hopefuls will vie for a company contract while dealing with the reality TV environment of being confined to a house with teammates and potential opponents for roughly six weeks and being largely closed off from the outside world. Of course, this coming season there are two mammoth twists, as, along with Rousey and Zingano being the first women’s coaches, the cast of contenders will be both women and men taking part in separate tournaments, but living in one house and training together.

“Everything’s gonna be new with the girls fighting girls and the guys fighting guys,” said UFC fighter Manny Gamburyan, Rousey’s longtime friend and fellow GFC trainee. “I’m excited.”

On Monday, Tarverdyan said the journey will begin, as the longtime trainer will head Rousey’s coaching staff along with Gamburyan, Andy Dermenjian and Marina Shafir.

“We have a good team,” Tarverdyan said. “We know we don’t have a lot of time with the fighters. We know we’re not going to be there to change anybody’s style.”

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