Following the fight, many fans and other fighters noticed how odd his pectoral muscle looked. Many quickly started making claims or insinuating that Adesanya had likely been using steroids.
Adesanya was quick to shoot down his detractors, vehemently saying he had never used performance enhancing drugs.
Now, after having gone through a few medical tests, Adesanya says that the UFC’s doctor told him it could be caused by him smoking marijuana when out of competition.
“My pituitary gland was checked, hormone levels are fine, estrogen and testosterone. Yesterday we had an ultrasound and a mammogram. I had one for the first time,” Adesanya told ESPN this week. “To be honest, it might have just been unhealthy living a little bit. Like smoking weed. That’s what the doctor from the UFC said. He said I need to stop, but I’m not stopping; I’m just going to slow down on the smoking weed.”
Marijuana use is allowed by USADA and many athletic commissions outside of immediate competition (also known as in-competition), so Adesanya likely isn’t treading on any dangerous ground by smoking it outside of the immediate in-competition window of competition.
USADA’s In-Competition Definition for UFC Drug Testing
In-Competition means the period commencing at noon on the day prior to the scheduled start of the fight card on which a bout is contested and ending upon the completion of the post-bout sample or specimen collection. If a post-bout sample or specimen collection is not initiated by USADA within a reasonable time, which will not exceed one hour following an athlete’s post-bout medical clearance, then the in-competition period shall expire at that time.
UFC President Dana White recently said that, while his company is working with athletic commissions to relax the rules on marijuana for out-of-competition testing, in-competition testing is a different animal.
“When you’re in competition, you have to test these guys. You can’t let somebody go into the ring high. It just can’t happen,” said White. “But, yeah, we’re trying to loosen it up, but at the same time you can’t have guys showing up high.”
Adesanya has never tested positive in-competition or otherwise for marijuana outside of the allowed limits. He insists what fans and others saw at UFC 253, where he dominated Paulo Costa, was a fat deposit. But he understands why people would question him.
“It’s just a fat deposit. But after a performance like that, I’d think I was on steroids too, because it was just mind-blowing. What the f— did I just do to (Costa)?” Adesanya exclaimed.
“The guy that, ‘He walked down Romero. No one walks down Romero. Why didn’t he use his boxing? Costa should’ve stuck to his game plan, he would have won.’ Nah, bro. There’s the common denominator. Some people are so stupid sometimes and it really baffles me. Do you understand you all look stupid? There’s a reason he couldn’t use his boxing. There’s a reason he couldn’t just walk me down. If you know fighting, you know.”
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Despite Adesanya’s rejection of claims that he was on something much more enhancing than marijuana, he still couldn’t shake the criticism of former fighter Jon Fitch.
“I smoke a s–t ton of weed,” Fitch wrote on a Twitter post citing Adesanya’s rejection of steroids being the cause for the pectoral abnormality. “I did for 18 years of fighting. Not one swollen titty.”
Fitch retired following his most recent fight, a submission loss to Neiman Gracie at Bellator 246 in September.
Adesanya, after he heals from foot surgery, is expected to move up to 205 pounds to challenge UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz in a champion vs. champion bout at the start of 2021.
Related Video> UFC 253: Israel Adesanya vs Paulo Costa Recap
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