UFC star arrested at New York airport
UFC fighter Israel Adesanya was arrested at New York’s JFK Airport on Wednesday for possession of brass knuckles, according to reports. The incident came just days after Adesanya lost his middleweight title to Alex Pereira in a main event contest at UFC 281 at Madison Square Garden.
US news outlet TMZ reported that Adesanya was detained by the Port Authority Police Department near the American Airlines terminal shortly before 2pm local time.
The fighter, who was born in Nigeria but has lived in New Zealand since he was a child, was allegedly found with the weapon although it’s unclear where it was being kept, according to TMZ.
Brass knuckles are illegal in the state of New York and are listed as a class A misdemeanor, potentially meaning jail time and a fine.
In a subsequent statement, Adesanya’s manager said that the issue had already been resolved and that his client had continued his journey.
“Israel was handed a gift by a fan, which he put in his luggage,” said Tim Simpson on behalf of the fighter.
“When flagged at the airport, Israel quickly disposed of the item, and cooperated with authorities. He has complied accordingly, with that the matter was dismissed and he is on his way home.”
Adesanya, 33, suffered just the second defeat of his professional MMA career when he was stopped in the fifth round of his contest with Pereira on Saturday night.
The bout extended a rivalry between the pair which stems from their kickboxing days, during which the Brazilian also got the better of ‘The Last Stylebender’ on two occasions.
Adesanya questioned Saturday’s TKO stoppage by referee Marc Goddard as being too early, while UFC president Dana White has already suggested that an immediate rematch with Pereira is on the cards.