Undefeated UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is looking to record his first-ever title defense this Saturday, as he faces Yoel Romero in Melbourne, Australia. Rumors have circulated, saying that "The Last Stylebender" was allegedly dealing with a staph infection ahead of his bout, based off a bump on his left arm.
During an interview with ESPN's Ariel Helwani on Monday, Adesanya downplayed the staph infection, calling it "a little scrape," before declaring that he battled malaria eight times in his life and didn't find this any more daunting.
Normally, if a fighter is dealing with a staph infection, they are prescribed antibiotics, which notoriously hinders their performance. Adesanya said he refused to take the medication for the bout, comically claiming that he looked at it, said "no," and it disappeared.
Adesanya is known for his cocky personality, as evidenced by the controversial "Twin Towers" comments he made towards Romero leading up to the fight, which he later apologized for. So belittling an alleged staph infection in bizarre fashion shouldn't come as a shock.
Back in October, Adesanya defeated Robert Whittaker to win the unified middleweight title. Now, he looks to add Romero as the first name on his championship defense list, while Romero is prepared to score the massive upset and win his first ever UFC championship.