The internet went wild with speculation after Israel Adesanya was seen with an oddly shaped pectoral muscle ahead of his fight against Paulo Costa at UFC 253 last weekend.
The middleweight champion, who stopped Costa via second-round TKO in his second title defense, shut down a question about his pectoral at the postfight press conference but has since addressed the controversy in an interview with ESPN's Ariel Helwani.
"I didn't want to speak about it until I know what it was," Adesanya said Tuesday. "Because it's been on me for the last eight weeks and it was just growing and I was like, 'This is quite sore.' Even my girl told me, 'Go to the doctor,' but I was like, 'Ah, I'll just get this fight over with first.' I don't know what it is."
Some fans suggested Adesanya could have gynecomastia, an enlargement or swelling of breast tissue in males. There was also a lot of speculation surrounding the use of performance-enhancing drugs, as the condition is commonly caused by "male estrogen levels that are too high or are out of balance with testosterone levels," according to Cleveland Clinic.
Adesanya described his right pectoral as being "a little bit tender," with the left one feeling fine. He said he received blood tests and two MRI scans Tuesday, including one on his pituitary gland.
"I might keep you posted, or I might keep letting people speculate. It's kind of fun to watch people just cry about it."
Adesanya said because of his dominant win over Costa, it's understandable that people think he's doping.
"You know what? With the performance like I had, I would think I was on f------ steroids, too," he laughed. "They need something - 'It couldn't be just him, it couldn't be him. He must be (on) something.' For me, it's all fun and games, man."
Adesanya said he's never taken a banned substance as a pro fighter.
"No. No. That's not something - come on, man," he said when asked if he has ever used steroids. "I know you believe me. Come on. It's silly. But no, I haven't. I'm not one of those people that needs a crutch - that when that's taken away, then they feel weak, they feel inadequate.
"When USADA came through, a lot of people fell off, a lot of bodies changed, and a lot of people didn't feel good enough without their little magic supplements. But yeah, not me. Skills pay the bills."