Former UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, risks facing up to three months in jail after he pleaded guilty to drunk-driving charges in New Zealand.
The incident reportedly took place on August 19, 2023, three weeks before his UFC 293 loss to Sean Strickland.
It was reported that Adesanya encountered a Random Breath Testing unit in Auckland after dinner with friends.
He was found with 87 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in his system, which was above the legal limit of 50 milligrams.
After pleading guilty at the Auckland District Court, Adesanya released a statement to The New Zealand Herald, saying:
“I want to apologise to the community, my family and my team for the decision I made to get behind the wheel after drinking at a dinner.
“I was pulled over and given an evidentiary blood test, the reading was 87 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres 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 behaviour is acceptable.”
Analysts say he could face up to a $2,680 fine and/or three months in jail and will be back in court on January 10 for sentencing.
After not addressing questions from the media after his decision loss to Sean Strickland and leaving the UFC 293 post-fight press conference, Adesanya finally shared his thoughts on his YouTube channel.
Adesanya (24-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC), who was beaten shockingly by Strickland (28-5 MMA, 15-5 UFC) earlier this month in the main event of UFC 293 in Australia, said he just wasn’t himself that night.
“Like a bad dream,” Adesanya said when asked about how he felt. “One of those where you, not even a nightmare. A nightmare is like, ‘Oh sh*t. F*ck.’ A nightmare, you’re scared. I was just like, you try to hit the guy, and it just felt like noodle arms. Like, ‘What the f*ck.’ It just felt like a bad dream.
“Feeling it and watching it were completely different. I called Eugene (Bareman) right after and we talked and the same thing. We’re quietly confident.”
On top of not feeling himself, Adesanya won’t shy away from acknowledging that Strickland and his coaches had a great game plan, and they executed it perfectly.
“I just wasn’t able to get my rhythm because of his pressure,” Adesanya said. “He was right there constantly. Whenever I was setting him up, because he was right there, his coach would help him out, and I would be like, ‘Fuck.’ Good game plan from them, but also for me, I wasn’t able to adjust on the fly. … It was his night. It was his night and yeah, he got it done. I made another dream come true.”