ESPN- Israel Adesanya, the former UFC middleweight champion, pleaded guilty in court Monday morning to drunk driving in his home country of New Zealand, his team told ESPN on Sunday.
The incident happened Aug. 19. Adesanya was driving with 87 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, per his team. The legal limit in the country is 50 milligrams.
"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," Adesanya said in a statement provided to 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."
As it turns out, three weeks before Sean Strickland DOMINATED Israel Adesanya for five rounds and took his UFC Middleweight Championship at UFC 293, "The Last Stylebender" was hit with a drunk driving charge in New Zealand. Not a great look.
The easy/low-hanging fruit joke is that Israel Adesanya is now one step closer to becoming Jon Jones - but every time Jones picks up another DUI, a championship follows, so I don't know how much of a knock that is at this point.
Adesanya's reps claim he was hit with a random breathalyzer while driving home from a dinner with friends in Auckland, and I believe he blew just over the legal limit, so that may very well be true….but it's just such a bad look right before he put on arguably the worst performance of his career.
I don't want to spin the narrative that he's getting out of control/partying too much just yet, but his drunken octagon appearance with Dricus Du Plessis a few months ago certainly doesn't help his case….
Stylebender loves to party - there's no doubt about that - and as long as he's not hindering his training or hurting anyone while he does that, so be it! He just can't be putting everyone else at risk like this, driving all over Auckland like a madman.
We've spoken to Alexander Volkanovski and a few other Australian/New Zealander fighters before about how different celebrity culture is down there, and it seems the public is a lot more critical of their celebs - so I hope this isn't too a big knock on his reputation. If it is, though, I suppose he made his bed and he's gotta lie in it.
I'll update this blog with any further statements on this.