Israel Adesanya Arrested Just Days After Losing to Alex Pereira at UFC 281

After a bizarre incident at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, UFC star Israel Adesanya has been arrested and detained by US authorities. The Nigerian-born New Zealander fighter, who lost at UFC 281 to Alex Pereira on Nov. 14, had a pair of brass knuckles confiscated at the airport after attempting to pass through security with them. According to TMZ Sports, Adesanya was arrested at about 1:57 p.m. local time after the Transportation Security Administration discovered the weapon in his possession. New York state law forbids the possession of brass knuckles, but the UFC star's manager says they were given to him as a gift by a fan, and airport officials later released him. 

"Israel was handed a gift by a fan, which he put in his luggage," Tim Simpson, Adesanya's manager, said. "When flagged at the airport, Israel quickly disposed of the item and co-operated with authorities. He has complied accordingly, with that the matter was dismissed and he is on his way home." Upon conviction, Adesanya could face a year in prison and fines. Adesanya was not charged following his arrest, but the incident represents another loss for the UFC's former champ, who lost to Alex Pereira in Madison Square Garden on Saturday. UFC 281, held over the weekend in New York, marked the 33-year-old fighter's second career defeat. Newly-crowned UFC Middleweight Champion Pereira knocked him out in the fifth round, reported Yahoo Sport Australia. It was Adesanya's fight to win when Pereira changed the course of UFC history. 


"It was incredible, something you'd see in a movie," UFC president Dana White said. "I don't know who it was, but he said, 'You're losing! You need to knock him out in this round. Move forward, throw punches in bunches, let your hands go and you're going to be a world champion in five minutes.' It was something straight out of a movie." Only Pereira has knocked out Adesanya in his professional fighting career, having defeated him twice in kickboxing in 2016 and 2017. In 2017, Pereira knocked out Adesanya in Brazil's last round of their kickboxing fight for the GLORY Middleweight title. Adesanya vowed to stop Pereira, but the fighter expressed no regret. "A lot of guys talk publicly and say they want to fight this guy or that guy, but behind the scenes, it's a different story," White said. "Believe me, he wanted this fight. He's a stud." It was only Adesanya's second MMA loss.