Islam Makhachev addresses speculation of a Staph infection ahead of UFC 302

By Curtis Calhoun - May 30, 2024

UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev is at the center of a UFC 302 fight week controversy after images spread online of a possible staph infection.

Islam Makhachev

Makhachev will defend the UFC lightweight title against two-time lineal title challenger Dustin Poirier on Saturday in Newark. Makhachev returns after back-to-back successful title defenses against Alexander Volkanovski in 2023, including a knockout in October.

Ahead of fight night, Makhachev has been accused by Conor McGregor and others of entering UFC 302 with a staph infection on his left leg. This after pre-fight promotional images shows Makhachev with an odd mark on his leg, a possible sign of an infection.

Islam Makhachev denies he’s suffering from Staph infection

During the UFC 302 pre-fight press conference, Makhachev was asked to address speculation of a staph infection on his left leg.

“Don’t worry guys, I had a [very good] training camp,” Makhachev said. “Nothing is bothering me, and I’ll be 100% on Saturday night.”

As of this writing, there’s no direct evidence that Makhachev is suffering from staph, although he could potentially open up more on the leg bruising after UFC 302.

After addressing online speculation, Makhachev will turn his attention towards weight-cutting and making final preparations for UFC 302. The Khabib Nurmagomedov protégé is on a 13-fight winning streak, including his vacant title win over Charles Oliveira at UFC 280.

Benoît Saint-Denis suffered from a staph infection leading up to his knockout loss to Poirier at UFC 299 in March. After the defeat, he opened up on how the infection impacted his training camp and his physical readiness.

Whether or not Makhachev is legitimately suffering from a staph infection, he appears laser-focused ahead of his fight with Poirier. He continues to improve his overall MMA game, as evidenced by his most recent victory over Volkanovski at UFC 294.

Makhachev’s answer to speculation of infection likely won’t tone down skeptics, but he appears confident in his preparation.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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