Gastelum, a one-time title challenger in MMA’s premier promotion, was set to feature in the first headliner of 2023. But with his planned UFC Vegas 67 bout against rising contender Nassourdine Imavov just days away, the TUF 17 winner pulled out.
The reason behind Gastelum’s withdrawal was a mouth injury, with the #13-ranked middleweight posting an image of a dislodged tooth and later a video of surgeons stitching it back into place.
But after seeing the picture of Gastelum’s injury, McGregor believes he’s identified another medical concern, and a much more serious one.
In a post on his Instagram stories, the former two-division champion claimed that a mark on Gastelum’s left cheek was clear evidence of a staph infection, the contagious nature of which makes it a serious concern in combat sports.
“Absolute scruff this thing is. That’s full on staph infection all over his f*cking face. A full f*cking hole omg and it’s his second time to attempt to enter competition like this,” McGregor wrote. “Wtf! Clean your mats. Wash yourself. F*cking go to the doctor! Scruff.”
McGregor’s words were also reminiscent of his response when Gastelum publicly admitted to having the condition during UFC 234 fight week, with the 185lber even claiming that he would have fought with the infection had Robert Whittaker not withdrawn.
In response to the Dublin native’s 2019 remarks, Gastelum labeled him a “leper” who spreads disease all over Ireland. This time, “leprechaun” was on the menu.
Gastelum Puts McGregor Attack Down To “Coke & Steroids”
Hours after McGregor alleged that Gastelum once again attempted to share the cage with another fighter despite having staph, the middleweight veteran fired back on Twitter.
While he didn’t outright dismiss the accusation, the former interim title challenger did appear to suggest that McGregor’s take derives from drug use.
“Relax u lil leprechaun,” Gastelum wrote. “The coke and steroids are kicking in.”
This isn’t the first time that a fighter has put McGregor’s comments online down to cocaine. Last year, surging lightweight contender Rafael Fiziev came to the same conclusion after the former champ-champ attempted to hand down some advice on his striking defense.
While “Ataman” also added Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey to the mix, Gastelum went with steroids, talk of which has increased following McGregor’s exit from the USADA testing pool and visible bulked-up physique.
What do you make of Conor McGregor’s suggestion that Kelvin Gastelum has a staph infection?