Former UFC Champion Israel Adesanya Pleads Guilty to Drunk-Driving Charges
Former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has found himself in legal trouble following a drunk-driving incident.
Adesanya pleaded guilty to charges of drunk driving in New Zealand, and now potentially faces up to three months in jail.
The incident took place on August 19, just three weeks before Adesanya’s UFC 293 loss to Sean Strickland.
On the night of the incident, Adesanya had been out dining with friends. He was later intercepted by a Random Breath Testing unit in Auckland, where he was found to have 87 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood in his system, exceeding the legal limit of 50 milligrams.
The Aftermath and Public Apology
Following his guilty plea in the Auckland District Court, Adesanya took to the public to express his regret over his actions. He apologized to the community, his family, and his team for his decision to drive after consuming alcohol.
Adesanya expressed his disappointment in his choice and acknowledged his responsibility as a public figure. He stated that he wants his followers to understand that such behavior is unacceptable.
In addition to potential jail time, Adesanya could also face a fine of up to $2,680. His sentencing is scheduled for January 10.
Impact on Career
The charges against Adesanya come at a difficult time in his professional career. He recently lost his middleweight crown on September 10 in a unanimous decision loss to Sean Strickland at UFC 293.
The 34-year-old is a two-time UFC middleweight champion but has lost two of his last three matches. He is 4-3 in his last seven fights. Whether or not these charges will impact his fighting career remains uncertain.
Adesanya’s attorney has asked the judge that no conviction be entered, which the judge granted. His attorney stated that he would seek a discharge without conviction during the sentencing hearing on January 10.
It is unclear how the drunk driving charges in New Zealand could impact his fighting career, but it surely adds to the challenges the athlete is currently facing.
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