Former UFC Middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya has been released hours after being detained by security officers at a New York airport on Wednesday following attempt to go through security with brass knuckles.
Quoting the Port Authority police, MMA Fighting said Adesanya was arrested at approximately 1:57 p.m. ET on Wednesday at JFK Terminal for possession metal knuckles.
Brass knuckles, made of metal or plastic, are illegal in New York and its possession is considered a misdemeanor punishable up to one year in prison plus fines.
A statement by Adesanya’s manager Tim Simpson of Paradigm Sports Management disclosed that the Nigerian-New Zealand mixed martial artist has already been released and has been flown home to New Zealand.
“Israel was handed a gift by a fan, which he put in his luggage,” Simpson said in the statement. “When flagged at the airport, Israel quickly disposed of the item, and cooperated with authorities.
“He has complied accordingly, with that the matter was dismissed and he is on his way home.”
Adesanya had been in New York for several days as he prepared for his fight against Alex Pereira in the main event at UFC 281.
He lost the UFC middleweight title after ultimately suffering a fifth-round knockout loss to Alex Pereira in what was only his second career defeat.
Adesanya remained in New York after the fight but now appears on his way home after briefly being detained by authorities on Wednesday.