Israel Adesanya was arrested and briefly detained at a New York airport on Wednesday after he attempted to go through security with brass knuckles.

According to Port Authority police, the former UFC champion was “arrested at approximately 1:57 p.m. ET today, at JFK Terminal for possession metal knuckles.” TMZ first reported that Adesanya had been detained.

Brass knuckles — made of metal or plastic — are illegal in New York and possession is considered a misdemeanor punishable up to one year in prison plus fines.

Adesanya’s manager Tim Simpson of Paradigm Sports Management issued a statement to MMA Fighting while also stating that the former UFC champion has already been released and he’s currently flying 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 ultimately suffered a fifth-round knockout loss, which cost him the UFC middleweight title in 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.



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