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Should Rousey Join Forces with Mayweather?

Photo Courtesy of AP

It seems like only yesterday that an undefeated Ronda Rousey was having a laugh at Floyd Mayweather’s expense with TMZ reporters.

“I actually did the math, and given the numbers of my last fight, I’m actually the highest paid UFC fighter and I’m a woman. I think I actually make two or three times more than [Mayweather] does per second. When he learns to read and write, he can text me then,” said Rousey.

The sting from that vitriolic-filled blast hurts the same two months later.

Rousey wasn’t the least bit impressed with the boxing empire Mayweather had worked years to build. As far as she was concerned, she was building her own empire as the UFC women’s bantamweight champion. The book, movie features, television appearances and photoshoots had come to fruition after only three years in the UFC.

Rousey was well on her way to doing things Mayweather had never accomplished. In the cage, she was every bit as savage as a prime Mike Tyson, tossing opponents around like rag dolls and wrenching them into submission. She knocked Brazilian contender Bethe Correia out cold in an August event in Rio.

Perhaps that victory gave Rousey a false sense of security with her striking. Even her coach, Edmond Tarverdyan, bloviated about how far his star pupil’s striking had come. After the win over Correia, Tarverdyan told Submission Radio Rousey had surpassed Invicta featherweight champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino, arguably the greatest fighter in the history of women’s MMA, in striking technique.

However, the finished product never matched Tarverdyan’s praise. Rousey’s striking looked incredibly rudimentary as champion. She rarely moved her head off the centerline, and the vast majority of her punches were thrown with poor technique.

Dr. AnnMaria De Mars, Rousey’s mother, told LatiNation Tarverdyan was a “terrible coach.” (Warning: NSFW Language)

The general public snubbed at any negative connotations surrounding Rousey’s porous striking. She was going through opponents quicker than Steven Tyler could go through a box of ChapStick, and there wasn’t a single opponent that had even come close to making her look beatable.

And then Holly Holm emerged.

The former women’s boxing world champion shocked the world at UFC 193 by giving Rousey the striking lesson of a lifetime. Fans watched as Rousey rushed forward like a stubborn bull grasping at air, as Holm swiftly moved around the cage like a crafty matador. A bloodied Rousey sat on the stool after a lopsided first round, desperately looking at Tarverdyan for advice, and all he could say was “beautiful.”

There was no Plan B for Rousey. It was all unraveling for the former Olympian, and no one was there to stop the bleeding. The climactic head kick knockout followed in the second round as Rousey’s mortality was made public.

Fans learned Rousey was a great fighter with serious fundamental flaws.

Mayweather could have easily kicked Rousey while she was down like other celebrities, but in an unlikely gesture, he offered his services in helping her improve as a fighter. It’s an offer Rousey should seriously consider accepting at this juncture in her career.

“I want Ronda Rousey to hold her head up high and don’t let this discourage you. If you need help as far as with boxing, I’m here to help you. It’s all about timing and inches. Her ground game is unbelievable. She’ll be okay,” Mayweather said in an interview with Fight Hype.

No one is saying Rousey has to buy into what Mayweather is selling or name him her new head coach, but she could improve leaps and bounds by training with him on the side. Mayweather is one of the greatest defensive fighters in the history of combat sports, and his brain is ripe for the picking for Rousey, who has struggled to catch on in the striking department.

Of course, it’ll take more than joining forces with Mayweather to fix Rousey’s Holm problem.

She should also consider training with one of the more recognizable camps out there like American Kickboxing Academy or Tristar. An even better suggestion would be Rousey joining her old 209 buddies, Nick and Nate Diaz, at Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

Change is inevitable if Rousey ever wants to be champion again.

Mayweather doesn’t have any hard feelings towards Rousey. He believes she used his name to help elevate hers in the media, which is something he isn’t taking personal:

“I commend Dana White and the Fertitta brothers for being able to take a female and make her so huge in a contact sport. I commend them for that, but she had to do her part also, and she did her part. If I was her, I would’ve used Floyd Mayweather’s name also. She’s supposed to do that. It’s business, it’s not personal, and I understand business.”

If Mayweather can brush aside personal feelings and handle business, there’s no reason to think Rousey can’t do the same.

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