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Edmond Tarverdyan 'happy' to be done with 'The Ultimate Fighter'

Mixed martial arts: Glendale Fighting Club coach pleased to have experienced being on reality show, but wouldn't do it again.

September 14, 2013|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • ARCHIVE PHOTO: Ronda Rousey and Edmond Tarverdyan are both coaches on this season of "The Ultimate Fighter." While a good experience, Tarverdyan said it's one he wouldn't do again.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: Ronda Rousey and Edmond Tarverdyan are… (Roger Wilson/Staff…)

This is the first in a series of articles examining the experiences of local fighters and coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter,” whether in past seasons or the current. The current season, “The Ultimate Fighter 18,” airs Wednesdays on Fox Sports 1, featuring Glendale-trained champion Ronda Rousey.

Before his days at Glendale High were through, Edmond Tarverdyan was already running his own gym.

Tarverdyan began running his gym at 16, and now, roughly 16 years later, he has certainly made a name for the Glendale Fighting Club. Still, nothing could quite prepare him for taking part in “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Of course, helping Ronda Rousey coach her team of 16 aspiring fighters wasn’t uncommon.

“I’ve done that for so long,” said Tarverdyan, who led the Team Rousey coaching staff during “The Ultimate Fighter 18,” which is currently airing every Wednesday on Fox Sports 1.

While training fighters is nothing new, taking part in a reality show with cameras surrounding you every day, while contending with a rival team, takes its toll.

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In addition to Rousey, the Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s bantamweight champion, Tarverdyan was joined by Manny Gamburyan, Marina Shafir and Andy Dermenjian on the staff, as the group was in Las Vegas for the taping of the show from the last week of May to the first week of July. They opposed Team Tate, headed by Miesha Tate, Rousey’s archrival rival and championship opponent on Dec. 28, along with a coaching staff that most noticeably includes Bryan Caraway, a UFC fighter and Tate’s longtime boyfriend.

For Tarverdyan, his stay on the show was both long and short, and it is something, ultimately, he would never do again.

“I’m glad I did it, it was an experience, but I wouldn’t do it again,” Tarverdyan said. “I was really, really happy to get back [home].”

With a team of eight male and eight female 135-pound fighters, Tarverdyan said the coaches’ goal was to get the best out of their fighters in a short period of time, electing not to try to overwhelm them with new techniques as much as furthering the skill sets they already had.

Admittedly for Tarverdyan, though, it takes him a while to open up.

“It took me a little bit to understand them and get to know them,” Tarverdyan said. “They think maybe I’m a little bit cold. Ronda says I’m intimidating a little bit.”

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