Israel Adesanya reportedly avoids conviction for August 2023 drunk driving incident

Israel Adesanya’s recent drunk-driving charge will not lead to significant consequences for the two-time UFC middleweight champion. reported Wednesday that Adesanya has avoided a conviction after recently pleading guilty to driving drunk in Auckland, New Zealand, on Aug. 19, three weeks ahead of his most recent fight. Adesanya went on to drop his UFC title to Sean Strickland in a lopsided unanimous decision loss at UFC 293.

Adesanya pleaded guilty to the charge in September and issued a public apology. He faced a maximum penalty of three months’ imprisonment or a fine of up to $4500 NZD. However, according to court documents acquired by, Adesanya’s lawyer argued that a conviction would be even more damaging to the fighter due to a potential loss of sponsors that could lead to a six-figure loss in earnings. He added that Adesanya would also be unable to travel to certain countries, including Canada, which hosts a middleweight title fight in Toronto on Jan. 20 between Strickland and Dricus du Plessis.

Judge Peter Winter offered a favorable ruling, discharging Adesanya without a conviction on the grounds that his drunk-driving reading was deemed to be relatively low (87 mg. per 100 ml. of blood, 37 mg. above the limit), his level of cooperation, and his history of charitable work in the community.

Adesanya received a six-month suspension from driving and he was ordered to pay $1500 to charity. He must also complete an anti-drunk-driving program.

Currently, Adesanya has not indicated when he next plans to compete. The 34-year-old announced a self-imposed hiatus shortly after losing to Strickland, but recently said that he could be back inside the octagon sooner than expected.

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