Police arrested UFC Middleweight star Israel Adesanya Wednesday afternoon at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.
Per TMZ Sports, the Port Authority Police Department arrested Adesanya for criminal possession of a weapon after he attempted to pass through security with metal knuckles. Police made the arrest at the TSA screening area near the American Airlines terminal. Brass knuckles are illegal in New York and failure to adhere to the law could result in a class A misdemeanor.
Tim Simpson, Adesanya’s manager, issued the following statement to TMZ Sports.
“Israel was handed a gift by a fan, which he put in his luggage,” Simpson said. “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.”
Israel Adesanya Coming Off Crushing Loss
Adesanya, 33, fought in the main event of UFC 281 Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Alex Pereira (7-1) defeated Adesanya (23-2) by TKO (punches) to become the new UFC Middleweight Champion.
“So many years of hard work and dedication, and here I am, champion of the world,” Pereira said after the fight.
The loss is the second of Adesanya’s career and snapped a three-year-plus run as Middleweight Champion. Adesanya had captured gold at UFC 236 in April 2019 with a unanimous decision victory over Kelvin Gastelum (16-8-1).
UFC president Dana White didn’t rule out an immediate rematch between Pereira and Adesanya. Adesanya said he expects to get one in the future.
“He’s been a great champion for us,” White said of Adesanya Saturday, via ESPN. “He likes to fight all the time. He doesn’t say no. He’ll fight anybody. Those are fun guys to have. And he’s a good person.”