Why Ronda Rousey Thought She was Being Replaced
The opening scene of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate was coach Ronda Rousey entering the UFC Training Center. Next entered her bitter rival Miesha Tate and a confused Rousey wanted answers.
Rousey was originally scheduled to coach opposite Cat Zingano who defeated Tate at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale on April 13 to earn the coaching position and title shot. Zingano was forced out of the fight and off the show due to a knee injury that required surgery to repair.
When Rousey saw Tate, she thought she was being replaced by Tate and didn’t know that Zingano had been injured. What we didn’t know is why Rousey thought she was being replaced, until now.
“What a lot of people don’t understand is I had a huge blowout with her attorney the Sunday before everybody was supposed to come here,” revealed UFC president Dana White.
“We were having contractual disputes about the show and Dana said that he was considering throwing me off the show and replacing me. We all ended up reaching an agreement at the very end, but the last thing Dana ever said to me is, ‘I don’t know what we’re going to do,’” explained Rousey.
“I think Ronda thought I was doing something to her. Like I was going to bring Miesha in and kick Ronda off the show,” said White.
“How would I have known that Cat Zingano blew her knee out? Miesha even said that she was supposed to be purposely vague and let me reach my own conclusions about it,” said Rousey. “And it wasn’t very nice.”
The Clash of the Coaches
The first day of team practices, Team Rousey was scheduled to use the gym at 6 p.m. after Team Tate. At the moment the clock struck 6, Coach Rousey kicked open the gym door and told Team Tate to get out.
“I just think Ronda is, she’s just stupid,” said Tate. “We’re on our way out but she felt the need to come in there and boss us around and push us around. We had to abide by the time schedule, so that sucked. I wish we could have just stayed in there just to piss her off.”
During the first fight announcement, Coach Rousey pitted her first pick Shayna Baszler against Team Tate’s first pick and Tate’s friend and training partner Julianna Pena. Pena won and Coach Tate celebrated more than Rousey thought she should have.
“Miesha was just jumping around screaming and like celebrating so much. And I was like, look at the pain this girl is in. Look at what she’s going through. How can you be that elated,” said Rousey. “She calls Shayna a friend and then bounces around celebrating. That’s an insult.”
“Here’s another prime example of Ronda being an idiot. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about and half the time she just fabricates stuff in her head,” said Tate. “Junianna was on my team and Shayna was on the opposing team and it’s as simple as that. It’s not personal. Because I’m happy that my team won doesn’t mean that I’m happy that Shayna had to lose.”
The teams, coaches included, were treated to an evening at the Red Rocks Resort and Casino and the coaching staffs collided. Old wounds were reopened and news rifts were created and it all surrounded Tate’s coach and boyfriend Bryan Caraway and a tweet he posted over a year ago.
“Bryan Caraway got on Twitter and basically said, ‘I’m going to knock Ronda Rousey’s teeth out.’ And when you do that, you’re going to hear about it,” said White. “Ronda was definitely there to get in Bryan Caraway’s face, make him feel uncomfortable, start some (expletive) with Miesha, and it worked. She did it.”
“People are getting to see a side of Ronda Rousey that no one has seen before. It’s easy for her to look like this fun-loving, all-American girl for a two-minute interview. However, it is impossible to completely conceal yourself when you’re on camera 24-7 for six weeks,” said Tate.
“Now people can finally understand why it’s been absolutely impossible for me to get along with her,” added Tate. “I think that Ronda Rousey has to hate someone in order to be able to fight them.”
Team Tate brought in UFC fighter Dennis Hallman as an assistant coach and he and Team Rousey’s striking coach Edmond Tarverdyan had words and nearly came to blows.
“Edmond is my striking coach and head coach. He’s been with me since my first amateur fight. They were trying to incite a fight so that Edmond would get kicked out and we’d be lost without our head coach,” alleged Rousey.
“I think Ronda used the excuse that they were going to get kicked off the show because she knows that Dennis would have beat him up and she probably wanted him to be able to coach the rest of the season. So I think she realized that wasn’t a good idea,” said Tate.
“It all escalates and goes out into the hallway. I’m there. I jump on and I’m like, ‘let’s end this (expletive) right here, right now.’ And then Team Tate continues to antagonize Team Rousey,” said White. “I just didn’t want another war to break out.”
Team Tate begins to prank Team Rousey, focusing on Tarverdyan. They placed a figurine of a count with a unibrow with Edmond’s name on the cape with a coupon for a hair waxing salon. They later placed pictures of a female movie character with a unibrow all over the gym with “Edmond Rousey” written at the bottom.
“Pranks are played on The Ultimate Fighter and as difficult as it is to have fun around Ronda, that was my way of having a little fun because I know every season has had funny pranks.” said Tate.
“Ronda and Edmond are not here to play games with Miesha Tate,” said White.
“It was literally just a joke,” stated Tate. “And they were so offended by it that it just makes it that much funnier to me.”
“This is after we swore up and down to Dana to not let anything escalate anymore. They smile on their faces and wait for us to go out of the room and do (expletive) like this,” said Rousey. ”They’re just (expletive) rats. They are the kids in the classroom that kiss the teacher’s ass and wait for their head to be turned to (expletive) with everybody else. They’re those kids.”
Rousey felt disrespected by Team Tate and after each fight when Coach Tate tried to congratulate them or shake their hand, Coach Rousey flipped her off.
“I’ve never had to deal with someone like Ronda. She’s difficult and very immature. All she does is cuse me out and flip me off,” said Tate. ”I think it’s completely classless and I think she’s a terrible role model.”
“I can see Ronda a lot more clearly now. I knew that she was trying to manipulate me emotionally and I think that’s part of the reason she’s so sour pants all the time because it’s not working,” added Tate.
“I will never respect her. And after I beat her in the most fantastic way possible, she’s never going to be on my radar again,” said Rousey. ”She’s forever going to be that chic that Ronda beat up. She’s going to be famous for her loses.”
Six fights into the season, Team Rousey and Team Tate are tied with three wins each. Julianna Pena, Raquel Pennington and Chris Holdsworth have advanced for Team Tate while Jessica Rakoczy, David Grant and Michael Wooten have won for Team Rousey.
More Drama to Come
“At this point, it’s pretty ugly between her and I,” said Tate. ”But there’s definitely still things to come that were much harder than anything you guys have seen so far.”