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Kobe Bryant told Ronda Rousey loss was "beautiful"

By Alex Butler
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Kobe Bryant told Ronda Rousey loss was "beautiful"
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant ties his shoe during game against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center in Los Angeles on January 22, 2016. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- When the 'Black Mamba' speaks, people listen, including former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant spoke champ to champ with Rousey, following her UFC 193 loss to Holly Holm. The Nov. 15 scrum left Rousey down on the mat after a kick to the face.

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"I sent her [Rousey] several messages," Bryant told USA Today's Mike Bohn.

"That's what it's about. It's not about how you win. A true champion is about how you lose and come back from that."

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Rousey, 29, was the one giving advice to Bryant last October, while he contemplated retirement. Rousey hinted to Bryant that if he was starting to think about not playing, maybe he should think about walking away.

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"I told her, 'It's a beautiful thing.' That's what I told her. I said, 'To be a true champion sometimes you have to get knocked down.' It happens to the best of us. It happened with my Achilles [when I tore it], [Muhammad] Ali got put down several times — it happens to the best of us."

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Bryant, 37, is a five-time NBA Champion in his 20th and final season.

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"If she goes through her entire career undefeated, she becomes this mythical figure that nobody can relate to. She got beat. We all get beat at some point or another in our lives," Bryant said.

"Now it's a matter of how she bounces back from that. I think that's what makes her a true champion." A rematch between Holm and Rousey could happen sometime later this year. Holm faces Miesha Tate on March 5 at UFC 196.

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