Israel Adesanya released after arrest in New York

Israel Adesanya UFC champion

UFC fighter Israel Adesanya has been released following a brief detention at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old was arrested for attempting to go through security with brass 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.

Adesanya’s manager Tim Simpson in a statement 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, the matter was dismissed and he is on his way home.”

Adesanya had been in New York for several days preparing for his fight against Alex Pereira in the main event at UFC 281.

He, however, lost the UFC middleweight title after ultimately suffering a fifth-round knockout loss to Pereira in what was only his second career defeat.