Unfortunate events plagued Israel Adesanya last November.
The current UFC Middleweight Champion suffered a TKO loss to Alex Pereira back at UFC 281, which ended his first title reign. More bad luck followed Adesanya days later as he was arrested at JFK International Airport in New York City. Adesanya was in possession of brass knuckles (given by one of his fans) which was illegal in the state of New York.
Everything turned out A-OK for Adesanya though as he ultimately had his court case for his arrest dismissed and also got back his championship, exacting his revenge on Pereira at UFC 287.
Adesanya On His Arrest
While Adesanya didn’t do any ‘hard time’ in the legal system, he would detail the experience, revealing he was behind bars for 45 minutes.
“It’s crazy how life happens like lose the belt, go to the airport, get arrested,” Adesanya said on The MMA Hour. “Shout to the officers as well at the airport, they were all cool apart from this one b*tch. She was the one that was kind of like— they were embarrassed cause they were like, ‘this is stupid’. They were like, ‘it’s the law’ and but then she was like, ‘no, it’s protocol’. You could see she was kind of enjoying it, but they’re like, we have to put you in custody. They even looked at her like, ‘really?’ And they put me in cuffs but still got a cool photo out of it.
“Then the first thing I did when I go into the cell was meditate for about 15 minutes. [They put me in a cell for] about 45 minutes. But they were all like, ‘what the fuck? What are you doing here?’ People started coming and like, ‘oh sh*t, hey Israel, what happened? Oh, we’ll get you outta here as soon as possible’. And they were [there] to make this happen. That’s life and I like these experiences. Whether they’re good or bad, it all happens for my benefit and my favor.”
“So the first thing I did, I usually sit in the cell and you see people graffiti on the wall, all that kind of stuff. I remember just thinking like, ‘wow, okay, this is crazy’. Like I was just fighting the Madison Square Garden literally a few days ago and now I’m in the cell [after] the airport. So I was like, right, sit there and I just meditated just to center myself again. And then from there I was right, ‘cool, what are we gonna do?’
‘It’s The Last Time I’d Be Arrested’
Since the arrest stemmed from ‘brass knuckles’ gifted to him from a fan, Adesanya has apparently learned his lesson.
“This is why now I don’t take gifts from fans,” Adesanya added. “…That’s the only time I’m being arrested in America. And knock on wood, it’s the last time I’d be arrested in America or anywhere in the world.”
As it turns out, this wasn’t Adesanya’s first run-in with the law. ‘The Last Stylebender’ explains that he was actually arrested in Auckland, New Zealand for fighting multiple people inside of a ‘Burger King’ restaurant. Adesanya says he didn’t get a criminal record for this as a result of self-defense.
“Actually no,” Adesanya said, when asked if his NYC arrest was his first. “2010, I had a fight. It was me vs. four dudes in Burger King on Queen Street in Auckland. He was harassing my friend’s girlfriend and I just turned around and I handled him and his friends, I handled them. They put me in cuffs, right? Never throw a kick in a street fight, cause then I slipped and I got up and I f*cked the other dude up.
“But then when the cops came, put me in cuffs and as he was walking me, I saw this guy with, with knuckle dusters actually tried to hit me and I stopped and I was telling the officer I didn’t stop this and I stopped and went and he swung and missed. And I looked at the officer and I was like, I told you, and that’s why I don’t have a criminal record because they looked at the footage and realized I was just defending myself when I was defending my friend and his partner because of some idiots.”