UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey's mentor "Judo" Gene LeBell recently appeared on the It's Time podcast with Bruce Buffer and said that Ronda's next opponent deserves a bit more credit than she's getting. Miesha Tate has already been submitted twice before by Rousey, but she's clawed her way back to another title shot with four-straight wins.
She was able to do that because she's an excellent fighter, according to the fighting and coaching legend. "I think Miesha Tate might give her a hell of a go herself. Miesha Tate - people underestimate her. She's a damned good wrestler, fighter," he said.
"Miesha is better than she's getting credit for."
Of course, LeBell doesn't believe that being a great fighter is enough to beat Rousey. Even if Miesha brings her A-game, the OG doesn't see a third fight with Rousey going very well for her.
"It could be a hell of a battle," he said.
"If worst comes to worst, it could go into the second round."
Check out the entire podcast episode above for more of this great conversation. LeBell also talks at length about his friend, student and professional wrestling superstar "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. The late Roderick George Toombs, as he was legally named, was more than just a bombastic villain character in the wrasslin' ring and in movies, according to his coach.
In real life, the original Rowdy one was a generous and kind friend. "Everybody is for themselves. They don't do things for other people," LeBell remembered.
"This guy would jump off a building to do something for you. Anything he could do. He could call me up, 'Hey, pops, whaddya need?'"
Piper was also a genuine bad ass. Unlike many pro wrestlers, Piper really did have fight skills and knew how to throw down.
"When he'd go down to the gym, he'd beat up most everybody real easy," LeBell recounted.
"He was one of the ones. But he'd shake hands afterwards, and give 'em a hug."