'Grounded one' Andy Dermenjian has ultimate experience

Mixed martial arts: Wrestling coach, peacemaker Dermenjian looks back fondly on time on 'TUF.'

October 05, 2013|By Grant Gordon,
  • Andy Dermenjian, left, who was 4-1 in his MMA career, was an assistant coach on Team Rousey for `The Ultimate Fighter.
Andy Dermenjian, left, who was 4-1 in his MMA career, was… (File Photo )

This is the second 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.

A radiologic technologist by day and a wrestling coach as often as his schedule permits, Andy Dermenjian always has grappling on his mind and in his heart.

Growing up, his father built a wrestling gym behind the house that would grow into SK Golden Boys, a training ground for much of the local fighting talent tucked away in suburbia, short on perks and long on hard work, tenacious training and building a wrestling foundation.

Thus, when his good friend Edmond Tarverdyan of the Glendale Fighting Club called and presented him with the opportunity of being an assistant coach on “The Ultimate Fighter” as part of Ronda Rousey’s coaching staff, Dermenjian was immediately intrigued.


“I train Edmond, I work with Ronda a lot, I knew Ronda before she was Ronda,” Dermenjian said. “So, when they asked me, I wanted to go, but I have a full-time job, I have a commitment, I’m married, I have a wife.

“But it all worked out.”

It worked out to where Dermenjian received time off to work with 16 Ultimate Fighting Championship hopefuls.

A longtime staple of the UFC, credited by many for igniting the company and the sport of mixed martial arts’ popularity surge, “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series has been a showcase for future UFC superstars, served as a foundation to build some of the promotion’s biggest bouts between opposing coaches and has, of course, made for plenty of reality highlights and low lights in its now 18 seasons.

Having aired on SpikeTV and FX before its current home on FOX Sports 1, ‘TUF’ is in its first season on the brand new network and for the first time is featuring female coaches and female fighters along with male fighters competing in separate 135-pound tournaments. Joining Dermenjian on Team Rousey, along with UFC women’s bantamweight champion Rousey and Tarverdyan, are Manny Gamburyan and Marina Shafir.

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