Last weekend, when the UFC announced that the scheduled title fight between Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum would no longer be taking place, the initial reaction many people has was that it must be due to the staph infection Gastelum clearly had. Instead it turned out that Whittaker suffered a hernia the day before the fight and had to be rushed into emergency surgery but the question remained, what was wrong with Gastelum?
Well, speaking with the Ariel Helwani MMA Show on Monday, the middleweight contender addressed his skin issues, admitting that he did have staph the week of the fight but saying that the UFC medical team had dealt with it and cleared him to fight.
“As soon as the UFC doctors got there the week of the fight, they started handling it,” Gastelum said. “They gave me antibiotics, they put me on medication. They gave me creams so that I can put some on. Immediately they were very happy with the results. The very next day the rash had significantly shrunk and had dried up and it was going away. So there was no way that I wasn’t going to be competing just because of this infection. I was gonna go in there and fight this thing and go ahead and fight the fight. The doctors were letting me fight, they were saying it was going to be okay.”
While it certainly appears that the UFC was willing to allow Gastelum to compete with a serious staph infection, not everyone was as understanding, especially when Gastelum took to parading around with Henry Cejudo’s belt and declaring himself the undisputed middleweight champion because Whittaker pulled out to go into surgery. Most notably, Conor McGregor lambasted Gastelum on Twitter for his actions and his grotesque skin condition.
Why is that worm holding the 185lb belt? There are worms crawling on his skin! It was absolutely ludicrous to even consider allowing him to compete. Let alone now walk around the arena shaking our fans hands.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) February 10, 2019
Someone sort this, this instant. And sterilize that belt.
This didn’t sit well with Gastelum who fired back at McGregor with some very personal insults.
“Oh my god, you want to talk about a leper?” Gastelum said. “A guy that’s full of disease that’s spreading disease all over Ireland? That’s Conor McGregor. He’s spreading his seed all over Ireland, impregnating ladies and not claiming them. That dude’s a leper. Forget him.”
McGregor’s shot at him appears to have been the icing on an already terrible week for Gastelum. After flying halfway around the world to compete for a world championship, Gastelum then spent a week battling infection and antibiotics to make weight, only to have his title shot ripped out from under him just hours before the event. Now, Gastelum isn’t even guaranteed a title shot next as Israel Adesanya’s impressive win over Anderson Silva could put him in position to leapfrog Gastelum.
“I was fighting this staph infection on my face, on my body, the entire week,” Gastelum said. “I was on antibiotics the entire week fighting this thing. The UFC doctors were gracious and handling it well and they were real happy with how the infection on my skin was going away and it’d be okay to fight. The commission was okay with letting me fight. Everything was on track, man. It was just devastating. To go through all that process, to go through all that work and not be able to fight and compete, man, it was horrible. . .
“I feel lost right now. I come home, I didn’t get to fight, I didn’t get to compete, I have all this built up energy that I didn’t use and it’s an empty feeling, that’s for sure. It’s a lost feeling. I don’t know where to go from here.”
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
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Hey guys ! Still kicking. I'm sorry to all my friends, fans and family for not being able to get in there Sunday. Apparently if you get emergency surgeries you can't be cleared to fight. Thanks for the overwhelming support from all my fans I am so blessed to know you guys have my back. A big thanks to my team mates @fabricioitte @alexprates07 @standstrongboxingcoachjustin @justinlang_ep @titusday77 and all the others from behind the scenes you guys were there from start to finish worrying and prioritizing my health above all. Lastly to @danawhite and @ufc for the immediate help and support throughout the process of testing and the emergency surgeries. I am blessed I found out when I did and avoided life long consequences. I'll be back better than ever.
The question is " will the worldwide stock of steroids be able to provide them both at the same time ? " https://t.co/xAqbzmMovH— Olivier Aubin (@oliaubin) January 22, 2019
God bless you. #iluhju https://t.co/Vf0khQcUIH— Peoples Champ (@YoelRomeroMMA) February 11, 2019
Am I a dead man ? https://t.co/LxuVtD5nwp— Olivier Aubin (@oliaubin) February 11, 2019
you're probably wondering how i ended up in this situation pic.twitter.com/R0OutnCCp8— Olivier Aubin (@oliaubin) February 11, 2019
In case y’all forgot who the real champ is.
185 goes through who? #peopleschamp #iluhju— Peoples Champ (@YoelRomeroMMA) February 11, 2019
Just go ahead and make this damn fight.
⏳Strap SZN https://t.co/ACkefffRBY— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) February 11, 2019
February 11, 2019
@PatrickyPitbull @BellatorMMA I see you soon boyyyyy . You know what happened and so do the fans. I don't wanna here no bullshit about your right hand cos u couldn't even hit me with it. I made a mistake and Caught me with a nice knee fair play but 2 and 3 were mine. Judges pic.twitter.com/9SH3xmEyF6— Ryan Scope (@ryanscope1) February 11, 2019
Where was all this attitude when you came to congratulate me at the doctor’s office? We could’ve finished what we started right there. I beat you up with a single hand in your hometown. You were lucky I couldn’t properly use both. https://t.co/kYPH8GNwms— Patricky Freire (@PatrickyPitbull) February 11, 2019
Johnny Walker (16-3) vs. Misha Cirkunov (14-4); UFC 235, March 2.
Luis Pena (5-1) vs. Steven Peterson (17-7); UFC Nashville, March 23.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2011: Fedor Emelianenko went on his first losing streak, getting stopped by Antonio Silva at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
Should Gastelum have been allowed to compete while riddled with staph?
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WTF do I know, I’m not a doctor.
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