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Holly Holm: Getting knocked out in boxing was 'life-changing experience'

Holly Holm was in a similar position to Ronda Rousey not too long ago.

Holm was a dominant boxing world champion with just one loss on her record back in 2011 when she was knocked out cleanly by Anne Sophie Mathis. And that defeat came in her hometown of Albuquerque in front of adoring fans.

How did Holm get over it? It didn't happen overnight.

"There's a building time for that," Holm said Thursday on Good Day LA. "I hate that I've been on the other end, but I'll tell you it was a life-changing experience for me. I really learned a lot about myself and about other people."

Six months later, Holm hopped back in the ring with Mathis for a rematch and won a unanimous decision to get her title back. Holm won two more boxing matches after that before making the full-time transition to MMA.

Given those circumstances, it should be no surprise that Holm is willing to grant Rousey a rematch if that's what the former UFC women's bantamweight champion wants. Holm has been there herself and Mathis gave her a chance to get the belt back.

"You don't be on top for that long [and not want the rematch]," Holm said. "I know for me, I thought if I don't give myself an opportunity for this rematch it's going to bother me the rest of my life."

Holm (10-0) knocked out Rousey in the second round of their main event fight at UFC 193 last Saturday night in Melbourne, Australia. Up until that point, Rousey (12-1) had never lost and never been threatened. Only one other woman made it out of the first round with her. Rousey's three previous fights lasted a combined 64 seconds.

Holm, 34, credits her longtime coach Mike Winkeljohn for building her back up after the knockout loss. Winkeljohn, Holm said, was in her ear right after the fight. Even before the press conference.

"There were moments that I could've been broken there and before I even went out for the press conference that night," Holm said. "I was cut, they had stitched my eye in the back, and I stayed around for the press conference, had to swallow my pride a little bit just to do that.

"He pulled me in the back and he goes, ‘Listen, they're gonna ask you for a rematch and you know what you're gunna tell them?' And I said, ‘What's that, sir?' And he goes, ‘Yes. Muhammad Ali is a legend, he's been knocked down and he came back and he's a legend, and why am I any different?' And if I go into detail about that I'll start crying, but that was a moment for me that I needed. So I never doubted myself from a minute from the minute I got out, and I thought, ‘I'm gonna do this rematch' and I came back stronger and I avenged my loss."

Will the same thing happen for Rousey? She has not spoken publicly since the loss. The only statement she released came via Instagram.

"I just wanted to thank everyone for the love and support," Rousey wrote. "I appreciate the concerns about my health, but I'm fine. As I had mentioned before, I'm going to take a little bit of time, but I'll be back."

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