LAS VEGAS – UFC president Dana White, as would be expected of a promoter in his position, waxed effusive late Saturday after Ronda Rousey scored the fastest victory of her career.
The UFC women's bantamweight champion needed just 16 seconds to rid herself of Alexis Davis at UFC 175, one second off the UFC record for the fastest knockout in a title fight.
The way White saw it, there was no particular good reason why Rousey couldn't take on anyone, anywhere.
"When you look at the NBA, women play basketball, but everybody [expletive] on it like, 'Ah, it's women's basketball; it's terrible,' " White said at the postfight news conference at Mandalay Bay. "This is a chick that could leave this building, walk down the Las Vegas Strip and wreck every guy on the Las Vegas Strip. There's never been a women in the history of the world that could do that."
Well, maybe Rousey could go out and wreck every drunken bozo wandering down the Strip on a holiday weekend night. But the real question going forward is this: Can White find another opponent who can be a credible draw against the dominant champion?
Rousey is, in several respects, one of the UFC's biggest stars, from her place as a trailblazer in women's sports to her ability to draw mainstream attention other fighters simply can't.
She's also run circles around the competition at 135 pounds since going professional just three years ago. Rousey has been pushed out of the first round only once in 10 fights. She's finished all 10 of her opponents. Saturday night marked the seventh time she defeated an opponent in 1 minute, six seconds or less.
To hear the champion tell it, though, there's still plenty left to accomplish in the division.
"I still think I have plenty of motivation left," Rousey said. "I want to retire undefeated and be known as one of the greatest of all time. That takes a lot more work than what I've done so far."
But to the rest of us, Rousey looks like a grown woman fighting girls. Like watching a young Mike Tyson plow through the bum of the month during his ascent up the heavyweight ranks, or Royce Gracie grapple circles around the earliest UFC competition, Rousey – an Olympic judo bronze medalist – is clearly at an elite level the rest of the division has simply yet to match.
Rousey's charisma, fan base and skill set ensure her name on the marquee guarantees success regardless of the opponent. But in terms of someone who can actually push her in the Octagon – who is out there?
Within the UFC, the name most often cited who has yet to meet Rousey is undefeated Cat Zingano, who is 8-0. She was expected to get a title shot in 2013, but training injuries and tragedy in her personal life have kept her out of action since April of last year. A rusty Zingano against a Rousey who has buzz-sawed through the competition doesn't seem like much of a fight.
Which brings us back to one of Rousey and White's least favorite topics: Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino.
The former Strikeforce and current Invicta featherweight champion was the reigning queen of women's MMA when Rousey was on her way up. Justino is 12-1 with one no-contest, but that no-contest is key because she was suspended for testing positive for steroids after a 16-second knockout in a bout against Hiroko Yamanaka in San Diego in 2011.
Justino served a year suspension and has fought twice since her reinstatement. She wants to get down to 135 and fight Rousey. When White was asked about the possibility of Justino signing, though, he went off on a profane tangent attempted to put the ball back in the media's court.
"You guys want me to sign her, is that what you're saying?" White asked the gathered reporters. After more prompting, he said, "So, you guys in the media are telling me I should sign Cyborg? Oh, I don't know, I haven't thought about it.
"I just don't want to hear your [expletive] if I do [sign Justino]," he continued. "Because this [expletive] is going to flip as soon as I sign her – drug testing and all the other [expletive]. That'll be the biggest topic. It'll be the biggest [expletive] story for you guys to write. The script will flip immediately."
That was an interesting take, given that earlier in the news conference, White had said that Vitor Belfort, who has been caught cheating on multiple occasions, would be his preferred opponent for middleweight champion Chris Weidman.
On a more practical level, White said that when UFC parent company Zuffa purchased Strikeforce, Justino and her management turned down the same contract offer Rousey accepted.
"If you really want to fight in the UFC and you want to fight for the title, there's ways to get that done," White said. "There's ways to do it. It's not like we never offered Cyborg a deal. We offered Cyborg a deal and they turned it down. She got offered the same deal that Ronda got, and Cyborg turned it down."
But that was then, and this is now. In a way, Rousey has almost become a victim of her own success, making the competition look so out of her league that she appears to lack challenges. As long as Rousey keeps taking out her foes with a sniper's speed and precision, she and White should understand the Cyborg question isn't going to go away, even if she can beat every drunk out on the Vegas Strip.
Follow Dave Doyle on Twitter @DaveDoyleMMA.