Israel Adesanya Detained In JFK Airport, Brass Knuckles Found In Luggage
UFC fighter Israel Adesanya was arrested at JFK Airport Wednesday after authorities discovered “metal knuckles” in his luggage. His manager claimed that a fan gave him the knuckles shortly before the flight, and he was later released after disposing of the item.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 16, 2022
Over the weekend, Adesanya lost the UFC Middleweight Championship to Alex Pereira at Madison Square Garden, the second defeat of his career. On his way out of New York, manager Tim Simpson maintains that the knuckles in his bag did not belong to him.
“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’s on his way home.”
The Port Authority Police Department clarified that Adesanya was given a citation and a notice for a future court appearance. Owning brass knuckles is a Class A misdemeanor in the state of New York, though Adesanya was initially stopped for having them in his carry-on instead of putting it in checked luggage, per TSA guidelines.
Between a title loss and run-in with law enforcement, it hasn’t been a pleasant week for Adesanya, who has risen through the ranks of the UFC in recent years with 23 victories and five successful title defenses. His defeat to Pereira was his first in the UFC middleweight division, but he lost to the Brazilian fighter in two kickboxing matches in 2016 and 2017. He claimed afterwards that the referee’s decision to stop their most recent fight was premature.
“You see when I get up, I’m fine, because I was lucid,” Adesanya said Monday on “The MMA Hour” podcast. “I didn’t get rocked-rocked.”
As the former champ, Adesanya has the right to a rematch clause and has expressed interest in fighting Pereira again after some time off, regardless of whether he holds on to the belt.
“I’ll fight him again,” Adesanya said. “I’ll probably fight him two more times.”
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