Coach: Ronda Rousey Should Be 'Top 3' in the UFC's Pound-for-Pound List

Feb 22, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA;  Ronda Rousey (red gloves) prior to the start of her fight against Sara McMann (blue gloves) for their UFC bantamweight championship bout at Mandalay Bay. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
John HeinisSenior Analyst IJuly 14, 2014

UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is No. 9 in the UFC's official pound-for-pound rankings, but apparently that isn't good enough for her head coach, Edmond Tarverdyan

Speaking as a guest on Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour last week (h/t MMA Fighting), Tarverdyan made the bold proclamation that the "Rowdy" one has proved she deserves to be ranked in elite territory with any male counterpart: 

"Top three, for sure. Top three, yes," he said when asked where Rousey ranks among active fighters. "Ronda finishes every fight. Ronda finishes every fight, she's amazing. With the skills and the hard work and what she shows in the Octagon 

"With 16 seconds, she showed everything. Good punch, good knee, good takedown, good ground and pound. This girl did everything in 16 seconds, so she is in the top three. ... 

"The first opponent she knocks out, she gets it from the liver shot. Think about that. That's very difficult to do."

Rousey, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in judo, is a perfect 10-0 as a professional mixed martial artist and has only gone beyond the first round once in that 40-month time frame. 

Best known for finishing fights with her patented armbar, the 27-year-old grappler raised some eyebrows when she scored back-to-back knockouts over fellow ex-Olympian Sara McMann and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Alexis Davis. 

While the stoppage over McMann, which took just 66 seconds, was debatable, the one over Davis was not. 

As Tarverdyan noted, Rousey needed just 16 seconds to stun, take down and knock Davis out cold at UFC 175 eight days ago.

The Glendale Fighting Club product does not have her next opponent lined up as she nurses a broken hand, though the UFC just signed undefeated prospect Holly Holm, and Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino continues to call for a grudge match sooner than later.  

Given Rousey's injury and the fact that she defended her title three times in just over six months dating back to December 28 of last year, it is feasible that she will not fight until 2015. 

Given Rousey's current run of dominance, does she deserve a more coveted spot on the UFC's pound-for-pound list?


John Heinis is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for eDraft.com.

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