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‘There’s only one reason’ - Zahabi questions return of Israel Adesanya’s ‘very suspicious’ gyno

Firas Zahabi believes there is something more to Israel Adesanya’s gynecomastia, which was first noticed at UFC 253.

Israel Adesanya prepares for his UFC 253 title defense against Paulo Costa in 2020.
Israel Adesanya prepares for his UFC 253 title defense against Paulo Costa in 2020.
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya created a bit of a buzz ahead of his UFC 253 title fight against Paulo Costa. The reason: his visibly drooping right chest, which the MMA world expectedly took notice of.

“The Last Stylebender” later addressed the issue, pointing to some of his lifestyle choices at the time.

“My pituitary gland was checked, hormone levels are fine, estrogen and testosterone,” he said. “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.”

Many others had their theories, one of them being it could be a case of gynecomastia. For adult males, it is caused by hormone problems brought on by several factors including marijuana use, as well as steroid use.

Talk about this issue sparked again after recent training photos were posted, and just about every response was about Adesanya’s chest.

Despite Adesanya’s attempts to clear the air two years ago, Tristar Gym head coach Firas Zahabi still finds it “incredibly strange.”

“I heard one doctor give an analysis… one doctor was saying… he’s a doctor that does a lot of famous videos, and he’s like, ‘Let me give you my thoughts on the gyno.’ He said, ‘Well, it could be from a punch, (he) was punched in the chest and he got some tissue damage,’” Zahabi said in a recent YouTube video he uploaded.

“I’ve been punched in the chest, I’ve seen countless boxing rounds (with) MMA gloves, big gloves. I’ve seen countless fights, I’ve never somebody get punched in the chest and then have gyno. I’ve never seen it.

“… I’ve never seen a guy walk in the ring, walk out with an inflamed breast. Or his next fight, his breast is inflamed because he got punched (in the chest). Never!”

Without making a clear-cut statement, Zahabi seemingly went with the theories held by many observers who’ve thrown accusations at Adesanya.

“So in my mind, there’s only one reason for this. There’s only one group that has this problem. There’s only one group. I just don’t get it. What other possibility could there be?

“For me, I have no explanation. I have no idea.”

Adesanya is slated to defend his title against Alex Pereira this weekend at UFC 281.