Former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya decided to plead guilty to drunk driving on Monday in New Zealand over a month since he was caught behind the wheel with an alcohol limit that's above the legal threshold.
Adesanya has also released a statement via ESPN, admitting his mistake and apologizing for his actions.
“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 a dinner,” Israel Adesanya said (h/t Marc Raimondi of ESPN). “I am disappointed with my decision to drive, it was wrong. I know that people might follow me and I want them to know I do not think this behavior is acceptable.”
The said incident occurred in Auckland on Aug. 19 when Adesanya was on his way home after having dinner with friends. He was pulled over by a Random Breath Testing unit which then discovered that his system had 87 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. The legal limit in New Zealand is only 50 milligrams.
With Adesanya coming forward with a guilty admission, he could be facing up to three months of imprisonment or a fine of $4,500, according to the New Zealand Herald.
This latest legal trouble by Israel Adesanya comes on the heels of his loss to Sean Strickland in a UFC middleweight title fight earlier this September. Adesanya won the interim middleweight title in the UFC in 2019 by beating Kelvin Gastelum then became the unified champion of the division months later by taking down Robert Whittaker.
So far in his pro career in the MMA arena, Adesanya has a 24-3-0 record with a 16-1 T/KO slate.