Why Did Israel Adesanya’s Pectoral Muscle Get Swollen Up in his Last Middleweight Fight?

Published 06/11/2021, 9:41 AM EDT


UFC 253 was a momentous night for UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya who put forth arguably the most dominant performance of his career. ‘The Last Stylebender’ viciously dispatched Paulo Costa in round 2 and put an end to their heated rivalry. Furthermore, Costa had nothing to offer Adesanya in terms of resistance and was battered for the majority of the contest.

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In the wake of his statement win, fans lauded Israel Adesanya for turning in the most prolific win of his career. However, along with praise, Israel Adesanya also received some flak online with some accusing him of taking PED’s. Let’s take a look at the infamous ‘Pec-gate’ that briefly threatened to tarnish Adesanya’s budding legacy.

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What was wrong with Israel Adesanya’s right pec?

The MMA community on Twitter began pointing out that Israel Adesanya’s right pectoral muscle was enlarged. Additionally, fans immediately started to speculate that he was suffering from gynecomastia, which is an enlargement of a man’s pectoral muscle. Such an enlargement is usually associated with the ingestion of performance-enhancing drugs like T-ball.

Given Adesanya’s stellar performance, there was rampant speculation amongst fans and some notable fighters like Jon Jones, that unfair means were in play. However, Adesanya spoke out following UFC 253 and aimed to clarify the situation. Chiefly, He explained that the abnormality of his pec was likely a product of marijuana consumption.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – OCTOBER 06: Israel Adesanya makes his way to the Octagon for the Middleweight title bout during UFC 243 at Marvel Stadium on October 06, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

“Pec-gate. No, (I don’t have an update),” Adesanya told ESPN. “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. 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.” [h/t MMA Fighting.com]

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At the end of the day, nothing much was made of Adesanya’s abnormally large pectoral muscle in the weeks after his statement. Chiefly, his detractors have no found ammunition to go after him and claim that he’s been under the influence of PED’s. The situation will go down as one of the many unsolved mysteries in MMA.

Read this story: 5 Interesting Facts You Need to Know About Jairzinho Rozenstruik

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Darryl Pinto

1624 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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