Ex-UFC champ Israel Adesanya pleads guilty to drunk driving

Israel Adesanya, the former UFC middleweight champion, pleaded guilty in court Monday morning to drunk driving in his home country of New Zealand, his team told ESPN on Sunday.

The incident happened Aug. 19. Adesanya was driving with 87 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, per his team. The legal limit in the country is 50 milligrams.

"I want to apologize to the community, my family and my team for the decision I made to get behind the wheel after drinking at a dinner," Adesanya said in a statement provided to ESPN. "I am disappointed with my decision to drive, it was wrong. I know that people might follow me and I want them to know I do not think this behavior is acceptable."

Per his team, Adesanya was driving home after a dinner with friends in Auckland and "encountered a Random Breath Testing unit." The court date Monday was a summons hearing. He must return for sentencing Jan. 10, his team said.

The maximum penalty for a drunk driving charge is three months of jail time or a $2,680 fine, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Adesanya, 34, dropped the UFC middleweight title in a unanimous decision loss to Sean Strickland at UFC 293 on Sept. 10 in Sydney, Australia. The Nigerian-born fighter was a two-time UFC middleweight champion and is considered one of the best 185-pound fighters in MMA history.