Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Israel Adesanya Announces America Move After NZ’s Treatment Of Hooker

UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya has announced that he’s leaving New Zealand and will be moving to the United States of America.

Adesanya’s decision comes after teammate Dan Hooker‘s struggles leading up to his UFC 266 fight this past weekend. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect countries all over the world, including New Zealand. Fighters like those on the City Kickboxing roster are unable to train together in lockdown bubbles ahead of their fights.

At Saturday’s pay-per-view, “The Hangman” looked as good as ever, and secured a unanimous decision victory over the unranked Nasrat Haqparast. However, his journey to the event wasn’t without its difficulties. Hooker had to turn to Twitter in a desperate bid to secure a US visa. Having done so in the nick of time, the New Zealander arrived in Las Vegas just days before his fight, and with barely anytime to make weight.

While making it to the US proved to be immensely tough, training for the fight didn’t come any easier. Hooker revealed he’d had several warnings from the NZ police for violating the country’s restrictions, which even prevented the perennial lightweight contender from training inside his own gym alone.

In response to his friend and teammate’s experience this month, Israel Adesanya issued a scathing response, even promising to do away with his desire to headline a UFC card in New Zealand.

“You will never see me fight in New Zealand ever again,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel.

“All that money, they can get it from somewhere else. Their rugbys, their crickets, and all the others they’re giving exemptions to, but you will never ever see me fight on these shores [again].”

It now appears that the middleweight kingpin is willing to go even further and leave the country for good. In a tweet captioned “#comingtoamerica,” Adesanya revealed that he’ll be moving to the US in the near future.

“Cats out the bag… I’m moving to America. When faced with obstacles, we adapt and overcome. I’m 32 and applying pressure like J Cole before I’m out the game. We built this legacy at @citykickboxing ourselves and the support of the people. No govt handouts or backing and became the number one winning gym on earth! Four walls and a rood don’t make a martial arts gym. The people who toil day in and day out make it what it is. So wherever those four walls and a roof is located, it’ll still be City Kickboxing!!”

“The Last Stylebender” also hinted that other members of City Kickboxing, or even the entire gym as a whole, would, too, be making the switch. Ahead of his fight last Saturday, Hooker admitted that he’d have to seriously consider a change in location following the adversity he faced in NZ in recent weeks and months.

Speaking to Just Scrap radio, “The Hangman” said the team could be left with no choice but to relocate given the strict rules in place in their home country.

“Yeah, I haven’t put too much thought into it as I have been dealing with the obstacles at hand and focusing on Nasrat. The way it’s looking, I can’t speak for my teammates, it’s looking like stationing away from New Zealand. Our hand is forced.”

What do you make of Israel Adesanya’s decision to move to America?

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