Mixed martial arts superstar Israel Adesanya was arrested at JFK Airport Wednesday after allegedly trying to board a plane with brass knuckles, authorities said.

The former UFC champion was attempting to walk through security around 2 p.m. when he was taken into custody by Transportation Security Administration staff who found the banned item in his possession, according to Port Authority police.

Brass knuckles are illegal to carry in New York and considered a Class A misdemeanor.

Israel Adesanya was arrested at JFK Airport Wednesday afternoon.
Israel Adesanya was arrested at JFK Airport Wednesday afternoon.
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Adesanya, who was on his way home when he was stopped, was gifted the metal knuckles by a fan and cooperated with authorities throughout the ordeal, his manager Tim Simpson told TMZ in a statement.

“Israel was handed a gift by a fan, which he put in his luggage,” Simpson reportedly said in the statement. “When flagged at the airport, Israel quickly disposed of the item, and cooperated with authorities.

Simpson said Adesanya, 33, had already been released later Wednesday and was en route to New Zealand where he lives.

The MMA fighter was allegedly carrying metal knuckles before he tried to hop on a plane.
The MMA fighter was allegedly carrying metal knuckles before he tried to hop on a plane.
Getty Images

Adesanya fought at Madison Square Garden Saturday where he was knocked out by opponent Alex Pereira and lost his UFC middleweight title that he held since 2019, according to ESPN.



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