ABOVE THE REST
The UFC bantamweight champ improved to 11--0 by beating Cat Zingano with her signature arm bar in 14 seconds on Feb. 28. Only one of her fights has lasted more than one round.
DAN PATRICK:Where are you right now?
RONDA ROUSEY: In bed. I just woke up. If you win a world title, how often would you wake up before eight?
DP:You only put in 14 seconds of work. Why are you tired?
RR: I put in like eight weeks and 14 seconds of work. It was a long training camp.
DP:Did you want to win in 14 seconds?
RR: Yeah. I want to win with maximum efficiency and minimum effort. People forget, the shorter the fights are, the more fights I can have. It's making my career longer. I was happy to not let anyone hit me in front of my mother.
DP:Does your mother, AnnMaria De Mars, have a hard time watching you?
RR: Yeah, she does. Which is surprising because she was the first American to ever win the world judo championship, back in 1984. She's seen a lot of competition and has seen me do a lot of judo. When I was 11 years old, I broke my big toe and she made me run laps around the mats all night. [When] I tore my ACL, she had me finish practice that day. She was one of those tough-love kind of women. Still, when she sees me do MMA, I've never seen her so worried. It's kind of cute to see that side of her.
DP:How would your mother have done in UFC?
RR: If they had UFC back in the mid-'80s, she would have been the world champ. My mom in her prime would have won the women's 115-pound division.
DP:Could the Ronda Rousey of today beat your mother in her prime?
RR: [Laughs.] Yes, but the only reason is weight. She fought at 56 kilos [123 pounds, versus Rousey's fighting weight of 135]. With her tenacity, she probably would have made it even. This is the same woman who attacked me throughout the house during my childhood. She's sneaky.
DP:Are you offended when people ask if you would fight a man?
RR: No, not offended. I consider it a compliment that people think I should even consider it.
DP:What about Cristiane (Cyborg) Justino asking you to come up in weight class [to fight her]?
RR: It doesn't make sense. Especially since she's already been popped for steroids. It's setting the wrong example, making things easier for somebody who's been making things easier for herself her entire career.
DP:Are you fun on a date?
RR:[Laughs.] I guess so. It's hard to say. I can say if I had a good time. I'd say it's hit or miss.
Curt Schilling explained to me why he went after the people who made vulgar remarks about his 17-year-old daughter, Gabby, on Twitter last week: "A lot of people said, 'That's just the way [the Internet] is,' " Schilling said. "That's the way it is if we allow it to be. We don't have to." ... On the 15th anniversary of ESPN's Mike and Mike talk radio show, host Mike Greenberg told me that he never thought radio would be a full-time job. "I had no intention of doing this for a living," Greenberg said. "I came to ESPN to [be on] SportsCenter.... Shows like ours didn't exist." ... Funnyman Adam Carolla thinks comedians should have a role in the broadcast booth. "When I watch sports with Jimmy [Kimmel], it's nonstop joking," Carolla said to me. "It's fertile soil for comedy. Why do we have Joe Buck and Troy Aikman?"
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (PATRICK)
MARK J. TERRILL/AP (ROUSEY)
WINSLOW TOWNSON/AP (SCHILLING)
MICHELLE FARSI/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (GREENBERG)
ANDREW D. BERNSTEIN/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (CAROLLA)