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Israel Adesanya has dismissed claims he has a staph infection ahead of his huge middleweight title defence at UFC 248.
A worrying image of Adesanya surfaced online ahead of his first UFC middleweight title defence against Yoel Romero this weekend in Las Vegas.
He appeared to have a wound or a staph infection on his left foreman, but the Nigerian-born Kiwi has played down the injury and rejected reports he's set to pull out of his championship contest.
Speaking on Ariel Helwani's MMA show, he said: "It's just a little something, a little scrape of myself.
"That sh*t happens, but whatever. I'll rub it on his face when it's time.
"I've had malaria damn near eight times," Adesanya added. "I don't know what else I've had. Like you think staph's going to f*ck with me?... I looked at it and went 'no,' and it went away."
His opponent Romero was also on the show and he predicted he'd win by knockout.
The 42-year-old Cuban said: "I knock him out. Me and my team see he do a little mistake and that's the key for the fight. Now, we are working a lot on this.
"I feel comfortable, I feel great. The second point I remember, the last fight the judges say I don't win the fight because I don't finish. So I say, 'Okay, alright.'"
Adesanya has enjoyed a meteoric rise to UFC stardom since making his Octagon debut in 2018.
He's racked up seven stunning victories including wins over former 185lb king Anderson Silva and Robert Whittaker.
Romero, on the other hand, gets his second official shot at UFC gold following two weigh-in mishaps. He's coming off back-to-back defeats to Whittaker and Paulo Costa.