MMA

Chuck Liddell Says He's Open to Training Ronda Rousey Ahead of UFC Return

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 28:  (L) UFC hall of famer Chuck Liddell poses with a fan during the UFC 184 event at Staples Center on February 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Frazer Harrison/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2016

Ultimate Fighting Championship Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell said he would train Ronda Rousey "anytime she wants," noting the former women's bantamweight champion is in need of some help with her striking.

The Iceman was approached by TMZ in San Francisco this week, where he noted the gulf in quality between Rousey's striking and that of "professional striker" Holly Holm, who defeated her via second-round knockout at UFC 193 in November:

It was a thunderous head kick from Holm that saw Rowdy crumple to the floor and suffer her first UFC defeat almost three months ago, reminding the 29-year-old that she has work left to do.

As far as striking coaches go, Rousey could do a lot worse than Liddell, who holds the record for most knockouts in the UFC with 13 from his 23 bouts under the promotion's banner.

Rousey's November defeat to Holm was the first of her career.
Rousey's November defeat to Holm was the first of her career.Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Until she came up against Holm, Rousey had gone past the first round just once in her professional career and gained a reputation for her submissions, winning her first eight fights via armbar.

Men's Fitness writer Joel Snape described her clinch game as "phenomenal" but conceded Rousey has a lot to work on when it comes to stand-up compared to the likes of Holm:

Liddell was also quizzed on the controversy surrounding Rousey's trainer Edmond Tarverdyan, who was suspended for three months by the California State Athletic Commission this week for falsifying documents, per Sherdog

Rousey's future with the trainer is in doubt after he was also handed three years' probation and a $5,000 fine, which Sherdog said would prevent him from cornering for fighters "in California or in any other states that are members of the Association of Boxing Commissions."

Chuck Liddell (right) punches Wanderlei Silva (left) during a 2007 win over the Brazilian.
Chuck Liddell (right) punches Wanderlei Silva (left) during a 2007 win over the Brazilian.Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Presumably not impressed with the approach taken to train Rousey for the Holm match, Liddell appeared to make fun of the suspended Tarverdyan when asked for his opinion on the latest developments: "Is that the guy that told her she could outstrike Holly Holm? Is that the same guy who said she could outstrike Holly Holm, a real striker?"

In addition to being an apparent dig at Tarverdyan, those comments reinforced the notion that Liddell believes stand-up to be Rousey's real weakness or perhaps that she should have made a better attempt to take Holm to the ground.

Snape also called into question whether Rowdy had perhaps been lulled into a false comfort at Tarverdyan's gym when asked about the prospect of Rousey having a tuneup bout before making her return:

Speaking on The Neighbourhood radio show earlier this week, UFC president Dana White said Rousey will "probably" return to the Octagon in November, when she'll take on the victor of Holm and Miesha Tate's March 5 bout (h/t ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto).

It's been almost six years since Liddell took his leave of the UFC, but one of MMA's most respected fighters ever would undoubtedly have much to teach one of the current generation's heavy hitters.

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