Israel Adesanya, a New Zealander who competes in the UFC and is of Nigerian descent, was detained on Wednesday, November 16, at JFK Airport after reportedly attempting to board a plane with brass knuckles.
Adesanya attempted to pass through security at 2 p.m., according to Port Authority police, but was apprehended by TSA personnel after they discovered the prohibited object in his possession.
Brass knuckles are forbidden in the state of New York, but according to the manager of the UFC fighter, the fighter received them as a gift from a fan. After being interrogated by airport officials, Adesanya was later freed.
Tim Simpson, Adesanya’s agent, issued the following statement:
A fan gave Israel a present, which he put in his suitcase.
Israel promptly destroyed the item after it was flagged at the airport and cooperated with authorities. He complied as requested, the situation was closed, and he is now returning home.
Despite the fact that Adesanya was apparently not charged following his detention, the incident nonetheless comes as a blow to the former middleweight champion of the UFC after his shocking loss to Pereira in the fifth round at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, November 12.
In the New York main event fight, Adesanya had a 39-37 advantage after four whole rounds after nearly stopping Pereira at the end of the first.
However, things took a dramatic turn in the fifth and final round when Pereira struck his opponent with another shocking knockout punch, repeating history.
In his professional fighting career, only Pereira has knocked Adesanya out, having done so twice in kickboxing matches in 2016 and 2017.