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LeBron James and Kobe Bryant defend Ronda Rousey after UFC 207 loss

NBA stars LeBron James and Kobe Bryant defend Ronda Rousey from detractors after her UFC 207 loss to Amanda Nunes.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

UFC 207 was supposed to be the ceremonious return of former women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Unfortunately, it all turned sour after she was stopped by Amanda Nunes within just 48 seconds of action.

As one of the biggest polarizing figures of the sport, “Rowdy” has her fair share of both supporters and detractors. But after her loss, she expectedly heard more from the latter, most of them questioning her mindset the moment the fight was made official.

Some did come to her aid, and more interestingly, they are a few of her fellow sports stars. Cleveland Cavaliers star forward LeBron James is one of them, having experienced being placed atop the pedestal of superstardom himself.

“In sports, in general, they build you up as high as they can, put you on the highest mountain in the world, just to tear you down,” James said (via Ohio.com). “That’s coming from somebody who has experienced it. And that’s exactly what she’s going through right now. That’s a fact. I know exactly how she feels because I was that athlete. I went through that.”

“You don’t know her mindset,” he continued. “You don’t know the drive, is the drive still there? You don’t know. But you can tell that it’s built and built and built and built and built, they always make the teardown story more important than how long it took for her to actually get to the mountaintop.”

Rousey’s icon status is mainly rooted on her paving the way for female fighters all over the world, and for being a factor in elevating the sport to mainstream recognition. It is a fact that retired NBA great Kobe Bryant recognizes.