Glendale's Edmond Tarverdyan no longer a secret to fighting world

Combat sports: Longtime Glendale Fighting Club trainer slowly starting to get recognition UFC champ believes he deserves.

February 12, 2014|By Grant Gordon,
  • Glendale Fight Club trainer Edmond Tarverdyan. (Tim Berger/File Photo)
Glendale Fight Club trainer Edmond Tarverdyan. (Tim…

When boxer Art “Lionheart” Hovhannisyan walked into the Glendale Fighting Club on Monday morning, his eyes popped wide open, his usual grin widened and he shook his head.

The Brand Boulevard corner gym was packed with reporters and cameras clicking and shooting away. They were all there for an open workout and press conference with Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, who’s fast become a superstar with big-time endorsements, magazine covers, movie roles and a laundry list of busted arms left behind during her championship run.

Media attention has grown over the years at the GFC thanks in most part to Rousey. But while myriad media members were there for Rousey, she was there because of Edmond Tarverdyan, her longtime trainer who’s far from a secret in Glendale, but who might now be getting the recognition his world champion, for one, believes he richly deserves.

“I’m a little weary about talking about how great he is as a coach because more people might be coming here and taking my time from him and I’m selfish like that,” said Rousey on Monday in advance of her UFC 170 title defense against undefeated challenger Sara McMann. “He’s amazing. He’s my secret weapon that’s quickly becoming my not-so secret weapon.”


Rousey, who’s 8-0 with eight armbar submissions, has been cornered for everyone of her fights by Tarverdyan, who owns and operates the Glendale Fighting Club and began running a gym of his own when he was just 16 and attending Glendale High.

Tarverdyan has been noted as of late for how Rousey’s striking, following a decorated career in judo that saw her appear in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, has progressed. First came her footwork and defensive skills before her jab progressed and, most recently and particularly evident in her last fight, her power punching has opened eyes.

“She’s great. She’s looking good right now,” Tarverdyan said of Rousey’s striking. “We put a lot of foundation on her legs, not just to throw crazy punches out there.”

In Rousey’s Dec. 28 title defense against archrival Miesha Tate, the UFC champion staggered Tate with a straight right that sent the challenger backward against the cage and led to an eventual submission win via armbar as all of Rousey’s fights have concluded.

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