UFC tried to shut up Daniel Cormier from talking about fighter's infection
They couldn't ignore it.
The giant red marking on Kevin Lee's chest last weekend was simply too conspicuous to be brushed over by the commentary team as the UFC lightweight made his way to the Octagon ahead of the UFC 216 main event last weekend.
Lee was about to take to the mat for the biggest fight of his career - a shot at the interim 155lbs title against Tony Ferguson - when veteran colour commentator Joe Rogan noticed something strange on Lee's body.
Rogan questioned whether or not 'The Motown Phenom' was carrying a staph infection into the cage which, if so, would have meant that he was far from 100 per cent.
Media should investigate how NSAC allowed Kevin Lee to fight with staph. Questionnaire asks about ‘illnesses, diseases and conditions’ pic.twitter.com/XQuP8Ja7fZ
— Erik Magraken (@erikmagraken) October 8, 2017
UFC lightweight champion Daniel Cormier, who was sat alongside Rogan, chimed in on the matter prior to the fight in which Lee was defeated courtesy of a third-round triangle choke by Ferguson.
But the promotion had attempted to shut 'DC' up before he opened his mouth because no fighter should be medically cleared to compete with a staph infection.
"So we’re on air and Rogan goes 'is that staph?'" Cormier said during a recent episode of the Talk & Talker podcast.
"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."
Staph is a serious issue for fighters and can prove very debilitating.
After the fight, Lee confirmed that he had been suffering from the skin condition which is typically picked up in grappling sessions.
"I tried my best to hide it," Lee said.
"You know, it’s a big event, a lot has been happening with the UFC, these last couple events and I wasn’t going to let nobody down.
"I worked my whole life for this, it was like a culmination of things. But I’m not going to let this stop me."
The fact that Lee had been allowed to compete when he was clearly not well raised certain questions about the pre-fight medical checks but Nevada State Athletic Commissison executive director Bob Bennett insisted that Lee was deemed to be in fighting shape last weekend.
"My lead ringside physician found Lee medically fit to fight," Bennett told MMAFighting.
"He was examined by our lead ringside physician, along with another ringside physician. Both felt he was medically fit to fight."