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Video: Israel Adesanya says UFC doctors OK’d arm suspected of staph, downplays coronavirus fears before UFC 248

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LAS VEGAS – Superior genetics – and an apparent tolerance for malaria – ease Israel Adesanya’s mind when it comes to infectious diseases.

The novel coronavirus has affected over 93,000 thousand people and killed 3,200 worldwide, but UFC middleweight champ said he isn’t worried about the near-pandemic. And he said a sore on his arm that had the MMA world buzzing about a potential staph infection is much ado about nothing.

“How many people died from the coronavirus so far? How many people have had the common cold? There’s this hype about corona, and I had my face mask on at the airport, but at the end of the day, I’ve had malaria eight times,” he told reporters at an open workout for Saturday’s pay-per-view event at T-Mobile Arena. “My genetics is different, and I’m not above nature, don’t get me wrong. I don’t subject to that. I don’t see myself getting affected by that.

“You guys thought I had staph this week. I’ve never had staph in my life. Knock on wood, I never will. It was nothing. Everyone likes to say, ‘Ooh, look at this.’ I’ll rub it on Yoel’s face if I have to. If he’s forced to wrestle me, (I’ll wave it in front of his face).”

Adesanya added that UFC doctors checked out the sore and gave him the green light.

“Oh, it’s fine,” he said. “There’s no fluid. I don’t know what staph feels like. Some people have had it, where I’m from. But I’ve never had it, and I never will, knock on wood.”

After eight bouts malaria, Adesanya said his immune system is stronger than most.

“And malaria is the biggest killer in the world, isn’t it? So, this whole corona sh*t – f*ckin’ knock on wood, I hope I don’t get it now talking sh*t about corona.”

Check out the above video to hear Adesanya talk about Romero’s worthiness as a title contender, his excitement for the co-main of Saturday’s card, Costa, Wilder vs. Fury 2, and more.