Israel Adesanya Said He’s Making The United States His New Home
Israel Adesanya said he’s leaving his home country, New Zealand.
Adesanya, the UFC middleweight champion, said he plans to move to the United States because the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect New Zealand, prohibiting fighters to train together ahead of their fights. His teammate Dan Hooker also had struggles with the country leading up to his UFC 266 matchup.
Look after your sporting heroes New Zealand because they could soon be gone from our shores. Dan Hooker’s drive to get the win at UFC 266 has been uplifting for so many, I’m sure we can agree it was worth trouble he went through to get there. pic.twitter.com/hRvQjdiHRL
— Matt Manukia (@MattManukiaTVNZ) September 26, 2021
“Cats out the bag… I’m moving to America,” Adesanya wrote on Twitter and Instagram. “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,” he continued. “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!!”
Just last week, the UFC sensation told fans “you will never see me fight in New Zealand ever again” in a video he posted on YouTube. He said it was his dream to headline in his own backyard, but that’s over now.
Adesanya added that cops kept going to the gyms in New Zealand and trying to shut them down while other sports have gotten exemptions. Hooker also revealed that he got several warnings from local police for “violating” country restrictions when he was training inside his own gym alone.
Hooker also had to turn to MMA Twitter to help him get his visa in time for the UFC 266 matchup against unranked Nasrat Haqparast, which he went on to win via unanimous decision.
But Adesanya might not be the only City Kickboxing member making the move.
“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,” Hooker told Just Scrap radio.