UFC fighter Israel Adesanya’s difficult days in New York got even worse at JFK Airport on Monday.
Adesanya lost his belt to Alex Pereira during Saturday’s UFC 281 main event at Madison Square Garden.
And he was arrested at about 1:57 p.m. Tuesday after TSA found him in possession of metal knuckles in a screening area, Port Authority police confirmed to Fox News Digital.
Metal knuckles are illegal in New York State.
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However, it seems that the authorities have released Adesanya.
“Israel got a gift from a fan, which he put in his luggage,” Adesanya’s manager, Tim Simpson, told TMZ Sports. “When it was flagged down at the airport, Israel quickly disposed of the item and cooperated with authorities. He acted accordingly. With that, the case was dismissed and he is on his way home.”
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The UFC did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on the situation.
Adesanya, who lives in New Zealand, lost his middleweight title belt by technical knockout to his rival Pereira. Adesanya believes referee Marc Goddard stopped the fight early, even though Pereira hit Adesanya with punches.
Standing with his back against the octagonal fence, Adesanya fell to the canvas, but got back to his feet as Pereira continued to wave at him. However, Adesanya didn’t fall when Goddard stepped in to call the fight in the fifth round, and Pereira celebrated the landslide victory.
“You see, when I get up, I’m fine because I was clear,” Adesanya said on Monday’s “The MMA Hour.” “I wasn’t rocked. So I was hit against the fence and my thought was, ‘Escape laterally to the left or right.’ And then I went right, and since I was going well and because I wasn’t going well, it wasn’t because I was shaken. It was (because of) my foot.”
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“So I went lateral, lateral, and I tripped and looked bad, so I think the referee said, ‘Two big shots and he’s wobbling. Oh s—.’ (But) it wasn’t from the shots, I promise you. There’s no reason for me to lie. It was from the leg that he did the damage.”
At that point in the fight, the judges had won Adesanya, 39-37, on the scorecard. There was also a moment when Pereira seemed to be saved by the bell in the first round when Adesanya hit him hard with just seconds left, and Pereira wobbled just as the round came to a close.
But Pereira bounced back and finished it off on the last lap.
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Pereira now owns the title with a 7-1 UFC record, while Adesanya is 23-2 in his UFC career.