Ronda Rousey, Manny Gamburyan, Marina Shafir return to MMA action
Glendale-trained fighters have upcoming bouts; all-league basketball awards released.
Ronda Rousey, left, is set to be a coach on "The Ultimate Fighter," a TV show on FX. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer / February 23, 2013)
IN LOCAL MMA
The Ultimate Fighting Championship officially announced on Saturday that UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey would square off in the next season of the organization’s reality show “The Ultimate Fighter,” as the opposing coach to either rival Miesha Tate or the undefeated Cat Zingano.
Tate (13-3) and Zingano (7-0) are set to go toe to toe on April 13 in Las Vegas at the “The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale.” The winner will then coach against Rousey, who trains at Glendale Fighting Club under Edmond Tarverdyan, on the 18th season of the show, which will feature 135-pound fighters — both men and women. Rousey (7-0) will then defend her title upon the conclusion of the show on a to-be-determined date against her opposing coach. Tryouts for the season will be held April 15 in Vegas at the Palace Station Hotel.
“So for the first time ever, two women coaches,” said UFC President Dana White on FX, shortly before the UFC 158 pay-per-view Saturday evening, “and we will have 135-pound men and 135-pound women living and training in the house together.”
In other GFC news, Manny Gamburyan is set to make his return to the UFC octagon, as well, as it was reported on multiple mixed-martial-arts websites that the Glendale-trained fighter will take on Hacran Dias on May 18 on a UFC on FX 8 card in Brazil headlined by Vitor Belfort and Luke Rockhold.
Gamburyan (12-7) was set to fight Chad Mendes in February, but injured his thumb and after seeing the doctor due to that injury, it was revealed he had been training through a severe elbow injury, as well. Consequently, Dias (21-1-1) is recovering from an injury that canceled a proposed fight against Mendes, as well.
Before either Gamburyan or Rousey returns to the cage, though, Marina Shafir will return to action.
Shafir is 2-0 as an amateur and will be fighting for the first time since moving out to California, where she resides with Rousey, a close friend, and now regularly trains at the Glendale Fighting Club.
Shafir is set to take on Danielle Mack (0-2) in an amateur bout on Saturday night in Mesquite, Nev. at Tuff-N-Uff: Mayhem in Mesquite II, which is available on iPPV for $9.99 at Ustream.
Fighting at 150 pounds Saturday, Shafir has ended both of her previous fights inside of the first round via armbar, as her performances have mirrored that of Rousey, who went 3-0 in the amateur ranks with first-round armbar submissions.
For more info about Shafir’s bout, visit www.tuffnuf.net.
LEUFROY NETS TOP ACCOLADE
In just his first season with the St. Francis High basketball team, Kyle Leufroy showed he could handle a large workload.
After transferring from La Salle, the sophomore guard/forward stepped in and helped St. Francis advance to the CIF Southern Section Division III-A playoffs. The Golden Knights went 17-14 and 4-8 in the Mission League for fifth place.
Leufroy averaged 18.1 points per game en route to being named to the all-league first team. He also averaged 18.8 points in league.
“You can see him grow throughout the year after being on the junior varsity team at La Salle as a freshman,” St. Francis co-Coach Ray O’Brien said. “He had new coaches and came to a new league and he really made it a point throughout the year to improve.
“He never gets frustrated and it’s great to see somebody like that get first team in a very tough league.”