Despite the fact Ronda Rousey once encouraged five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant to stop complaining about retirement and walk away from the sport, the basketball star isn't kicking a fellow champion while she's down.
In fact, according to USA Today Sports, Bryant reached out to Rousey following her humiliating and humbling smackdown at UFC 193 courtesy Holly Holm's left head kick.
"I sent her several messages, so yes, we have touched base. 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. 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."
Many would agree with that sentiment. Prior to getting brutally KTFO, Rousey had made some ridiculous claims about retiring undefeated and suggesting she would even be able to win a fight against Floyd Mayweather (if they were dating).
But Bryant said he's interested to see how Rousey rebounds from this first career setback. Rousey has been mainly absent from the spotlight since November, other than her recent appearance on Saturday Night Live and her plans to continue making films.
"I think the true mark of a champion is how you get up from that," Bryant said. "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. Now it's a matter of how she bounces back from that. I think that's what makes her a true champion."
According to UFC president Dana White, Rousey will be back eventually, but likely not until November, a full year after her loss to Holm. Never one to shrink away from hyperbole, White suggested that rematch will be the biggest UFC fight of all time.
Conor McGregor just rolled his eyes, then furtively glanced around.
For that rematch to happen Holm first needs to get by a forgotten number in the equation who goes by the name of Miesha Tate. That fight goes down in the co-main event of UFC 196 on March 5, 2016, in sunny "Sin City."