Ronda Rousey defended her women's bantamweight title on Saturday night with a 14-second arm bar submission of Cat Zingano to record the quickest finish in UFC title fight history. While 14 seconds seems like a time that few would dispute given the superhuman speed with which Rousey locked in the submission, someone else was keeping his own track of the time during the fight.
Pro-wrestling and judo legend Gene Lebell, who is a staple in Rousey's corner during fight nights, had traditionally been Rousey's timekeeper, and he insists that the official time that the UFC announced was incorrect.
"12.83 seconds," LeBell told Ariel Helwani while flashing his stopwatch at the camera. "It somebody says 14 seconds, they're lying. I'll annihilate, mutilate, and assassinate them."
Asked to describe his pupil's awe-inspiring performance and what this means for her aura as a champion, LeBell was adamant that Rousey was an entirely unique athlete, and one that would become the benchmark for a new generation.
"How do you say something about the best that ever was? She is a classis in her field and a legend in her own time. I've been to two world fairs and an all-night gas station, and I've never seen anything like it."
With few challengers left in her path, most fans and pundits are calling for a match-up against Cris ‘Cyborg' Justino, who defeated Charmaine Tweet in 45-seconds during Friday night's Invicta FC card. LeBell, for one, would love to see that fight come to fruition.
"I'd love to see that fight. I don't smoke, drink, take dope, and I don't like people that take dope. I'm not mentioning any names."