Ex-UFC champ Israel Adesanya pleads guilty to drunk driving charges in New Zealand

Former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya pleaded guilty to drunk driving charges in New Zealand, ESPN reported. 

“I want to apologize to the community, my family and my team for the decision I made to get behind the wheel after drinking at a dinner,” Adesanya said in a statement to ESPN. “I am disappointed with my decision to drive, it was wrong. I know that people might follow me and I want them to know I do not think this behavior is acceptable.”

Adesanya was driving home from dinner with friends in Auckland on Aug. 19 when he came across a Random Breath Testing unit.

It was determined that Adesanya had 87 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. 

In New Zealand, the legal limit is 50 milligrams.

According to the New Zealand Herald, the threshold for being charged is 80 milligrams. 


Israel Adesanya (L) trades punches with Sean Strickland during the UFC 293 event at Qudos Bank Arena.
Israel Adesanya (L) trades punches with Sean Strickland during the UFC 293 event at Qudos Bank Arena.
Getty Images

The maximum penalty Adesanya could face for a drunk driving charge is three months in jail or a $2,680 fine, according to the Herald.

Adesanya’s attorney, Karl Trotter, asked the judge that no conviction be entered, which the judge granted, and Trotter said that he’d seek a discharge without conviction during the sentencing hearing on Jan. 10. 

Adesanya had lost his middleweight crown on Sept. 10 in a unanimous decision loss to Sean Strickland at UFC 293 in Sydney.

The 34-year-old is a two-time UFC middleweight champion, but has lost two of his last three matches. 

He is 4-3 in his last seven fights. 

A rematch between Adesanya and Strickland could be in the works, which UFC head honcho Dana White left on the table, but wouldn’t say if it was set in stone. 


Israel Adesanya of Nigeria prepares to face Sean Strickland in the UFC middleweight championship fight during the UFC 293 event at Qudos Bank Arena.
Israel Adesanya of Nigeria prepares to face Sean Strickland in the UFC middleweight championship fight during the UFC 293 event at Qudos Bank Arena.
Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

“There’s obviously lots of options out there, and we’ll see what happens. But, yes, I’m still not opposed to an Israel rematch. We’ll see how it goes,” White told MMA Junkie earlier this month. 

It’s unclear how the drunk driving charges in New Zealand could impact his fighting career. 

source: nypost.com