UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya says he's had malaria eight times in his life
Adesanya said he contracted the virus multiple times growing up in Nigeria
It's safe to say that UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has accomplished a fair amount in his life and career as an MMA fighter. But it would appear that any and all accolades he receives as a result of succeeding in the sport may pale in comparison to what his body has overcome just to get him to this point.
During a media scrum ahead of his, Adesanya said that he had a bit of a propensity to contract malaria as a kid. He referred reporters to his mother after he revealed that he had gotten the disease eight times, according to The Athletic.
It would seem that Adesanya has taken this to mean his immune system is among the toughest given that he survived all eight of those experiences. It's a fair assessment after he described his living situation in Nigeria as his room having red dots everywhere from all the mosquitos he had to kill throughout the night.
According to a malaria fact sheet created in 2011 for the Department of State, Nigeria sees approximately 100 million malaria cases with over 300,000 deaths per year (a rate of about 0.27%). In the United States, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are 1,500 cases of malaria with about five deaths annually (about a 0.33% rate). Given that Adesanya used the word "mansion" when describing his childhood home, and that he's ascended to a notable spot on the UFC roster, he probably has the resources to survive a ninth infection.
Can't get enough UFC? Subscribe to our podcast State of Combat with Brian Campbell where we break down everything you need to know in the Octagon.
For now, however, he'll just need to focus on making it through Saturday's fight.
Kyle Marley just locked in MMA picks for every fight on the Woodley vs. Burns card.
The state of the UFC 135-pound division is left with a lot of questions that need answers going...
The UFC made the move official after Cejudo announced his retirement following a UFC 249 win...
Woodley and Burns will battle with massive ramifications for the welterweight division
Nunes will be defending her featherweight title for the first time since stopping Cris Cyborg
Jones voiced his frustration, as well as noted a verbal agreement he made with UFC early in...
Overeem ended the dreams of a happy ending for Harris with a second-round stoppage on Saturday
Teixeira inched himself closer toward another shot at the light heavyweight title with the...