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UFC's Israel Adesanya addresses steroid speculation surrounding his swollen pec

Jason Owens
·2-min read

Israel Adesanya dominated Paulo Costa on Saturday to retain his UFC middleweight title belt.

But it wasn’t just his performance — or his brash celebration — that garnered attention.

Fans took note of Adesanya’s appearance when he entered the cage — more specifically swelling in his chest around his right nipple. Some fans suspected that Adesanya had developed a gynecomastia, swelling of male breast tissue that can accompany steroid use.

Adesanya addressed the chatter in a conversation with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani published on Wednesday.

“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 said.

Adesanya had swelling checked out

He then told Helwani that he had the swelling checked out with a doctor.

“I just got blood tests done, and I did like a scan — two MRI scans just now, 20 minutes ago for my pituitary gland,” Adesanya said. “So we’ll get the tests back and see what it is. ...

“I’ve done my tests, and I’ll wait for the results. I might keep you posted. I might keep letting people speculate. It’s kind of fun to watch people just cry about it.”

Israel Adesanya of Nigeria stands in his corner prior to facing Paulo Costa of Brazil in their middleweight championship bout during UFC 253 inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on September 27, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Israel Adesanya is adamant that he has not used steroids. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

So about that steroid speculation

Helwani then addressed the speculation directly, asking Adesanya if he was using steroids.

“F--- no. Come on man. I know you believe me,” Adesanya responded while laughing. “No I haven’t. I’m not one of those people who needs a crutch.”

Adesanya, who improved to 20-0 with his second-round TKO of Costa at UFC 253, also told Helwani that he’d like to fight again in 2020.

As for his his potential opponent? Adesanya declined to address that speculation.

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