Israel Adesanya is arrested for DUI shortly before his fight with Sean Strickland

Former UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, has pleaded guilty to a DUI, committing the offense three weeks before his title fight with Sean Strickland.

According to the New Zealand Herald, the incident involving the Nigerian occurred on August 19 in Auckland, New Zealand, and his blood alcohol content was almost twice the legal limit.

“I want to apologize to the community, my family and my team for making the decision to drive after drinking at dinner,” reads Adesanya’s statement released by the publication. “I regret my action – it was wrong. I know people can take examples from me and I want them to know – I don’t think this behavior is acceptable.”

The maximum penalty for the offense is three months in prison or a fine of NZ$4,500. The sentence is expected to be pronounced on January 10, 2024.

This news supports the theory that Israel Adesanya was not taking his upcoming fight with Sean Strickland seriously, who accepted the bout after number one contender, Dricus Du Plessis, refused to fight at UFC 293 in Sydney, citing injury.

Recall that the title fight, which headlined the Australian numbered event on September 9, went the full distance and ended in a sensational 49-46 three-round unanimous decision victory for the American.