Israel Adesanya has pled guilty to drinking and driving in New Zealand weeks before his last UFC bout.
According to a report by NZ Herald, the former UFC middleweight champion arrived at the Auckland District Court on Monday morning local time in Auckland, New Zealand for a “drink-driving” charge. The incident occurred 21 days before his last UFC bout.
Adesanya, 34, was charged with driving a car on Wellesley St. in Auckland with 87 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. The legal limit in New Zealand is 50 milligrams, according to New Zealand regulations.
“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 NZ Herald.
“I was pulled over and gave an evidentiary blood test – the reading was 87 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.”
The date of the alleged offense is listed as Aug. 19, prior to his defeat in his middleweight title fight against Sean Strickland on Sept. 9, which served as the main event of UFC 293 in Sydney, Australia.
“I am disappointed with my decision to drive, It was wrong,” Adesanya said in the statement. “I know that people might follow me, and I want them to know I do not think this behavior is acceptable.”
The maximum penalty for the charge is three months imprisonment or a fine of $4,500. Adesanya’s lawyer, Karl Trotter, sought that no conviction be entered, which was granted by the judge.
Adesanya is expected to be sentenced on Jan. 10, 2024.