UFC middleweight title contender Kelvin Gastelum drew some negative attention over the weekend at UFC 234, when a noticeable redness appeared by his lower lip. According to reports, he later admitted that it was staph infection, which he was lambasted for by both Conor McGregor and Colby Covington.
Gastelum went on to clarify his situation on Monday’s episode of the Ariel Helwani MMA Show on ESPN, and how he had managed to receive clearance from doctors and the UFC staff.
“I was fighting this staph infection on my face, on my body, the entire week. I was on antibiotics the entire week fighting this thing,” Gastelum revealed (transcript by MMA Mania). “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 how 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.”
The TUF 17 alum added that because of the immediate action, his condition significantly improved in a day’s time.
“As soon as the UFC doctors got there the week of the fight, they started handling it. They gave me antibiotics, they put me on medication,” Gastelum said. “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 this fight. The doctors were letting me fight, they were saying it was going to be okay.”
Gastelum also took the chance to respond to McGregor’s tweet.
“Oh my God, you want to talk about a leper? A guy that’s full of disease that’s spreading disease all over Ireland? That’s Conor McGregor,” he said. “He’s spreading his seed all over Ireland, impregnating ladies and not claiming them.
“That dude’s a leper. Forget him.”
Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker underwent successful surgery on Saturday for the hernia that forced him off his scheduled title defense. He is expected to be out for four to six weeks, currently leaving Gastelum in limbo in terms of his next fight.