Israel Adesanya was pulled over and hit with a drunk driving charge just three weeks before his UFC 293 title loss to Sean Strickland earlier this month in Sydney, Australia.
Nevertheless, while the incident occurred on Aug. 19, 2023, in Auckland, New Zealand, news of the charge just became public after Adesanya turned up to court Monday morning (remember: in New Zealand it’s already tomorrow) to plead guilty.
Court documents report that “The Last Stylebender” gave an “evidentiary blood test” and failed with a reading of .087 — .037 above the New Zealand limit of .05. For comparison’s sake, the legal limit across the United States is .08.
Israel Adesanya just pleaded guilty to drunk driving charges in New Zealand pic.twitter.com/jAsn34kiGG— Spinnin Backfist (@SpinninBackfist) September 24, 2023
It’s unclear exactly how Adesanya was nabbed. According to ESPN, Izzy was on his way home from a dinner with friends when he, “encountered a Random Breath Testing Unit,” implying he went through a checkpoint. In a statement given following his guilty plea, UFC’s former Middleweight champion said he was pulled over.
“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 dinner,” Adesanya said in a statement provided to the press. “I was pulled over and gave an evidentiary blood test — the reading was 87 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.
“I am disappointed with my decision to drive,” Adesanya continued. “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 will return to court on Jan. 10, 2023, where a sentencing will be issued. The maximum penalty for the charge is three months imprisonment or a $4,500 fine. Izzy’s lawyer, Karl Trotter, has requested a discharge without conviction, which means the 34-year-old sports star won’t have a criminal record hanging over his head.
For complete UFC 293 results, coverage and highlights click HERE.
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