clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Soccer superstar Lionel Messi declined to face off with ex-UFC fighter Ronys Torres

Ronys Torres

Former UFC fighter Ronys Torres tried to face off with arguably the best soccer player in the world: Lionel Messi.

The Brazilian fighter has been training at Templum BCN in Barcelona, Spain, home city to one of the best soccer teams in the world, FC Barcelona. There, Torres competed at AFL 9 on April 30 where he defeated Tato Primeira via first-round TKO, and helped UFC fighter Yan Cabral train for his fight against Reza Madadi at this past Sunday's UFC Fight Night 87 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Apart from training and fighting, Rafinha, owner of Templum BCN, invited Torres to watch Barcelona vs. Sporting on April 23. Torres and Rafinha were in the VIP area and were able to take photos with the team's biggest stars such as Neymar, Dani Alves and Pique, but he wasn't able to take a photo with Messi, who didn't attend the VIP area.

The following Tuesday, Torres went to Barcelona's training session in hopes of meeting "La Pulga."

"After the training, Rafinha took us to the parking lot," Torres told MMA Fighting. "The security guard asked me if I was a boxer because I was strong. When Messi came, another member of my gym asked Messi to pose for a face-off but he's very shy, he didn't want to do it. But he took a picture with me. He's a great guy."

During their meet, Messi was curious and asked Torres about the common trademark that fighters often carry, cauliflower ears.

"He asked me why my ear looked like that, if it was because of the punches, and I explained that it's also because of the gi," Torres said.

When asked if Torres wanted to invite Messi to train at the gym, Torres replied with a laugh.

"He would easily win in soccer, but he wouldn't last a minute in a fight."

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting