Paulo Costa shoots down staph infection rumors before UFC 302

Paulo Costa claims he’s 100 percent healthy heading into UFC 302.

Fight week buzz has swirled around Costa possibly having a staph infection after images of a red mark on his foot emerged ahead of his fight with Sean Strickland in Saturday’s co-main event. The middleweight contender addressed the rumors on social media Friday, claiming that the mark is from mat burn, not an infection.

See Costa’s post below.

“I haven’t staph, it’s only burned skin on the mat I’m OK,” Costa wrote.

Staph infections are a frequent concern in gyms due to a high risk of contamination, typically from shared mats and towels. Symptoms include pain around the infected area, fever, nausea, soreness, and more severe illnesses in extreme cases. Had Costa been diagnosed with the infection, it would have resulted in the cancelation of his UFC 302 fight.

Costa is no stranger to the condition, having suffered a staph infection ahead of a scheduled fight with Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294 that forced him to withdraw from the contest.

As of now, Costa and Strickland is set to proceed as scheduled, with both fighters successfully making weight at Friday’s official weigh-ins. Costa looks to snap out of a 1-3 skid, while Strickland hopes a win over Costa can vault him back into a shot at the middleweight title he lost this past January at UFC 297.

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