A lot of people have been discussing the fact Kevin Lee competed at UFC 216 with a visible staph infection on his chest, and now Daniel Cormier’s claiming he was told not to talk about the issue, during the card’s broadcast.
Lee took on Tony Ferguson at the October 7th event, and in the cage, a bump on his chest was clearly visible. Joe Rogan and Cormier were part of the broadcast team, and they speculated as to whether the lightweight contender had a staph infection. After Lee was submitted by Ferguson in round three, he proceeded to confirm that had indeed, been battling staph before the bout.
“So we’re on air, right, and Rogan goes ‘is that staph?’” Cormier said. “And somebody in my ear, I don’t know who it is goes ‘don’t say nothing.’ And I was like ‘What the hell? Do I address this, or do I not say anything?’”
“So I was like ‘it is.’ I couldn’t help myself, I go ‘it is staph.’ Because it’s big and red, and raised up.”
“The issue is you can take antibiotics to get better. But again, antibiotics, it’s the devil when you’re getting ready for a fight because it f—ks with your cardio,” Cormier noted. “You don’t really have much of an option in terms of feeling better when you have staph.”
So, there’s a couple of things to unpack there. One, it is interesting to hear that a member of the UFC broadcasting team, told Cormier not to discuss Lee’s staph. After all, it would have been pretty surprising if Lee didn’t report that he was dealing with an infection afterwards, as he did. Further, we all know that the internet would have fired around screenshots of Lee’s chest, and that the issue would have come up anyways.
Second, Lee did fatigue badly in the fight. He also had a brutal weight cut the day before, so, you do have to wonder how the fight might have gone if he had been 100%, or closer to it.