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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Farah Hannoun and MMA Junkie Radio

PFL’s Bubba Jenkins explains why soccer star Lionel Messi inspires him

Bubba Jenkins takes inspiration from Lionel Messi’s success in sport.

Messi is widely considered one of the greatest soccer players of all time – if not the greatest. Jenkins can relate to Messi’s small stature in competition, and how he was able to excel regardless of being undersized.

“My son is a Ronaldo fan so he’s not a Messi guy, he’s a Ronaldo fan,” Jenkins told MMA Junkie Radio. “He’s like, ‘Dad, why do you like Messi?’ and I was like because Messi is small, Messi is our size. Messi is a little guy, he’s smaller, and he gets the job done at the highest levels in his way, and I obviously know he’s in what you would consider the Arena League of soccer, killing everybody.

“So, it makes sense that he’s doing what he’s doing. But, it also highlights his greatness. He could have done it anywhere, doing it anywhere, but he decided to do it his way, how he wanted it. Pick up a smaller group of people, he likes to collaborate, and I love that.”

Jenkins (21-6) takes on Jesus Pinedo (21-6-1) in the 145-pound semifinal at 2023 PFL Playoffs 1, which takes place Aug. 4 at Boeing Center at Tech Port in San Antonio, Texas.

2023 PFL Playoffs 1 will mark the first event Jenkins headlines, and he can’t wait for the opportunity to shine.

“I’m very excited, I can’t be more excited, and I’m the main event,” Jenkins said. “So, when it comes to me feeling like PFL finally got it right or giving the people what they want, it’s this. It’s ‘Bad Man Things’ in the main event, in Texas, all things are big in Texas, they do it big there. So, I couldn’t be more excited, more pumped for the position, the platform, and the stage.”

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