Kobe Bryant, a UFC Investor, Will Be Honored at UFC 247: He Was a 'Good Guy in Every Way'02/07/2020
NBA legend Kobe Bryant will be honored at UFC 247 on Saturday, the company’s president, Dana White, revealed to TMZ.
Bryant was an investor in the mixed martial arts organization, White told the outlet in a recent interview, and he also had an ownership stake in its official energy drink, Body Armour. The UFC head also praised Bryant for his success on and off the basketball court, such as his Academy Award win for his animated short film, Dear Basketball in 2018.
“You look at Kobe the basketball player right? Then the guy that won an Oscar and all of the other things that this guy has accomplished in his life,” White, 50, told TMZ. “Well, also, he was one of the big investors in BodyArmor, a company that’s a sponsor of the UFC. He was also an investor in the UFC.”
Bryant, who won five championships during his longtime career with the Los Angeles Lakers, recently received a check from the company after it experienced the most successful year in its history.
“Kobe got a distribution [check] from the UFC the Wednesday before the incident and he was so pumped up and excited,” White recalled to TMZ, adding, “he said what everybody always says, ‘I wish I had invested more!'”
While also being an integral part of the organization, White said Bryant was simply a “good guy.”
“He was a great dude, he was apart of this company,” White said. “Kobe Bryant was a good guy in every way that you could possibly be a good guy.”
UFC 247 will take place on Feb. 8 and will broadcast live from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Its main event will feature Jon Jones (25-1-0) against Dominick Reyes (12-0-0).
On Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported that a public memorial for Bryant, his daughter, 13-year-old Gianna Bryant, and the seven others who died in the Jan. 26 helicopter crash, will be held at Staples Center on Monday, Feb. 24.
Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, confirmed the news of the public memorial on Instagram Friday afternoon.
“#2, #24 #20 years as a Laker 💜💛, ” Vanessa captioned a post of the memorial announcement which featured purple and gold butterflies circling Bryant and his daughter’s names.
The date holds special significance for the Bryant family: Gianna wore jersey No. 2 at the Mamba Sports Academy, and Bryant wore No. 24 in the latter half of his career, while 20 references the number of years the NBA star played for the Lakers.
Staples Center has also served as the location for memorials to Michael Jackson in 2009 and Nipsey Hussle in 2019.
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