Rachelle Leah is best known as the host of UFC All-Access, although her TV work also includes The Ultimate Fighter, Inside the UFC and an admitted guilty pleasure of ours: Spike's Sexiest NYC Bartenders. Now, she's on the November cover of Playboy (if you click 'Read More,' you can see an image of the cover). Leah talks shop on her gig, what types of athletes she's attracted to and how to survive Minnesota if you live in Vegas. Side note: the November issue also has a '20 Questions' with Chelsea Handler, which is definitely going to be salacious.
ESPN The Magazine: Take us through the evolution of receiving the offer and deciding to do it.
LEAH: Well, UFC called me a few months ago, and said Playboy is interested - are you? I literally said, "Give me a few minutes," hung up, called my parents. I told them I really wanted to do it, but I wouldn't do it unless they said they were cool with it. Luckily, they were 110 percent behind it, so I call back UFC, they call Playboy and within days I'm on a plane to Los Angeles.
We talked to Ashley Harkleroad about her shoot experience. What was yours like?
It's definitely a little awkward. It's not like I walk around naked all day. Before it started, I had some champagne. It's a good way to mellow out and loosen up. Once it starts, the first couple of shots are a little tense and nervous, sure. But, everyone associated with Playboy is completely professional. They make you feel completely at ease within a few minutes.
You've been associated with UFC for five years. What's the best on-record story you can tell us about Dana White?
(laughs) Oh, Dana. (laughs) I don't even know if there is one story. What I'll say is: what you see is what you get with him. He doesn't keep anything away from anyone. There are certainly a lot of f-bombs flying around, though.
What's the coolest place you've traveled for All-Access?
I actually just got back from Brazil, doing one of the Anderson Silva shows. It was the second time I had been there for work. This time, I took a week on the back side of it and vacationed there. I love it there and I wanted to see it without having to work. All-Access has allowed me to see some great places.
We saw the one with Brock Lesnar. Quite different from Brazil, eh?
I live in Vegas. I don't even own the types of clothes you needed to do that Lesnar shoot. I had to run to the mall and buy snow boots because the opening was done on his driveway, which was completely snowed in and basically frozen. I bought a huge puffy jacket too.
Just to tie in the whole Playboy thing with UFC, who do you consider the hottest fighter in UFC right now?
Honestly, I'm not attracted to fighters at all. I respect what they do, and I love UFC and think I have the greatest job in the world, but I get no spark from them.
So what sport prototype is your favorite, then?
Football. Definitely football.