Israel Adesanya has reportedly pleaded guilty to a drunk driving charge in New Zealand. The incident occurred three weeks before his recent UFC bout. According to reports, the former UFC middleweight champion was charged with “drink driving” for operating a vehicle in Auckland on August 19 with 87 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, which exceeds the New Zealand legal limit of 50 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood.
Adesanya issued an apology, stating, “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 inner. I was pulled over and gave an evidentiary blood test — the reading was 87 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. 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.”
The maximum penalty for Adesanya’s charge is reportedly three months in jail or a fine of $4,500, which is approximately $2,680 USD. Adesanya’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 10, 2024.
Adesanya, 34, suffered a significant loss on September 10 when Sean Strickland dominated him over 25 minutes to claim the UFC middleweight title in a one-sided bout at UFC 293. Adesanya, a two-time UFC middleweight champion, has now lost two of his past three fights and holds a 4-3 record in his last seven octagon appearances.