Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Adesanya, who speculated that a swollen pectoral muscle was the result of marijuana use, issued a bold challenge to anyone questioning his commitment to fighting clean.
“When you’re great, they talk about titty-gate,” he said. “So, at the same time, I’m like, how the f***… they just need to find excuses to take away my greatness, and I understand, this is what people are supposed to do, so I let them.
“Look, I will give $3 million to anyone who could ever have concrete evidence that I even know what the f*** I am doing with steroids or how to take steroids. I promise you, $3 million if you find anyone who has concrete evidence that I’ve ever even purchased, touched or done any kind of performance-enhancing drugs.”
Via UFC anti-doping czar Jeff Novitzky, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) on Wednesday acknowledged Adesanya for becoming the first fighter to reach 50 clean tests that started the program after its implementation in 2015. Adesanya used his acceptance speech to take a shot at rival Jon Jones, who admitted to hiding under a cage to avoid drug testers in a Twitter argument with the middleweight champ.
Adesanya bristled again at insinuations from fans and rivals that he would ever use PEDs. After the photo surfaced, he dismissed accusations of cheating as an attempt to downplay his title defense over Paulo Costa.
“I watched that [documentary] Icarus – that’s how much I know about steroids,” he said. “It opened my eyes. It shocked me. So yeah, $3 million for anyone who can ever find any concrete evidence that I’ve been using performance-enhancing drugs. Pull up.
“This is easy. It’s easy to talk and type online, but really, it got to me a little bit after the Costa fight, because I was like, ‘these f****** c**** are just trying to take away my greatness,’ because I had a f****** spectacular performance, and I’m like, how the f*** are you going to try to take that away with accusations based on nothing? So I’m like, yeah, pull up. $3 million. I know you don’t have that in the bank. I do.”
On Saturday, Adesanya attempts his fifth title defense against middleweight challenger Jared Cannonier. They are both expected to be tested by the USADA and may additionally be screened by the Nevada Athletic Commission, which regulates the event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
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