Israel Adesanya’s right pec was visibly swollen prior to his UFC 253 title fight with Paulo Costa on Saturday night, and it’s led to the middleweight champion having to address the issue publicly after rumors spread that it was due to having taken steroids.
“I didn’t want to speak about it until I knew what it was,” Adesanya told ESPN. “It’s been on me for like the last eight weeks and it was growing and I was like, ‘this is quite sore.’ Even my girl told me to go to the doctor but I was like ‘I have to get this fight over with first.’ I don’t know what it is. I just got a blood test done and two MRI scans for my pituitary gland. So we’ll get the tests back and see what it is.”
In a seperate interview with mmafighting.com, Adesanya made light of the fact that people were accusing him of taking performance-enhancing drugs.
“I don’t know what this is, but you know what? With a performance like that, I would think I was on steroids, too,” Adesanya told mmafighting.com. “They need something. ‘It couldn’t just be him. It couldn’t be him.’ It must be something.’ So for me, it’s just fun and games.”
Adesanya then went on to categorically deny that he had used steroids.
“I’m not one of those people who needs a crutch, that when that gets taken away, they feel weak, they feel inadequate. You see when when USADA came through, a lot of people fell off. A lot of bodies changed, and a lot of people didn’t feel good enough without their little magic supplements. But yeah – not me. Skills, bro. Skills pay the bills.”
On the other hand, Adesanya still believes that it’s only a matter of time before Costa tests positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
“You wait until Paulo pops. I can’t wait. I told you, I’m going to pop him before USADA does. When he pops, ooh, I’m going to gloat.”