Why was Israel Adesanya arrested? What's the current status of his criminal case? Everything you need to know

Israel Adesanya arrest [Images via: @AndrewNZ20 on X and @stylebender on Instagram]
Israel Adesanya arrest [Images via: @AndrewNZ20 on X and @stylebender on Instagram]

Former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has endured a challenging month, marked by a significant setback as he relinquished the 185-pound title to Sean Strickland in a lopsided contest at UFC 293.

It has now come to light that Israel Adesanya has pleaded guilty to a recent drunk driving charge.

The incident occurred in New Zealand, where Adesanya was found to have driven a vehicle on Wellesley St. in Auckland Central with a blood alcohol level of 87 milligrams per 100 milliliters, exceeding the legal limit of 50 milligrams.

Facing potential consequences of a $4500 fine or up to three months in prison, Adesanya expressed deep remorse for his actions. In a statement provided to the New Zealand Herald, he acknowledged his mistake in judgment, stating:

"I want to apologize to the community, my family, and my team for the decision I made to drive after consuming alcohol during dinner. I was pulled over and subjected to a blood test, which revealed a reading of 87 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. I am disappointed with my decision to drive; it was unequivocally wrong. I understand that people may look up to me, and I want them to know that I do not condone such behavior."

This incident unfolded amidst Israel Adesanya's preparation leading up to his title bout at UFC 293, marking an unusual lapse in judgment for the typically disciplined fighter. It introduced an extra layer of complexity to Adesanya's underwhelming performance on the night of the fight.


Has Israel Adesanya been arrested in the past?

In 2022, following his first middleweight title loss to rival Alex Pereira at UFC 281, Israel Adesanya experienced an episode of in-flight illegal item carriage at JFK Airport in Queens, New York. Airport authorities briefly detained him because they found brass knuckles in his luggage. Fortunately, the weapons charge was later dropped.

In an appearance on The MMA Hour, Adesanya recounted the incident, acknowledging the support he received from airport security during his short time in a holding cell. Despite the initial shock, he quickly regained his composure and reflected on the experience as part of life's ups and downs.

This airport mishap wasn't the first time Adesanya found himself briefly under arrest. He recalled a street fight in New Zealand in 2010, where he was handcuffed but managed to avoid major legal consequences.

Adesanya learned a valuable lesson from the incident, becoming more cautious about accepting gifts from fans.

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