Israel Adesanya

Israel Adesanya embraces the best of both Nigeria and New Zealand on the world stage: "“I’m like the only Kiwi that can fly, I’m the one with the biggest wing. I’ve got Super Eagle wings." Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Israel Adesanya and team will permanently move to the U.S following Dan Hooker’s travel issues

Israel Adesanya will not be heading back home to New Zealand anytime soon.

The world has changed dramatically over the last year and a half, and that has impacted every aspect of our lives. Travel especially has become very difficult. Residents of New Zealand are under lockdown and those who travel abroad have a very hard time getting back home. UFC fighter Dan Hooker is living this nightmare now. Hooker had to plead to leave NZ to attend his fight and now will most likely be stuck in the United States for months. It is because of this that NZ native Israel Adesanya will be relocating to the U.S full time.

“Cats out the bag… I’m moving to America,” Adesanya wrote on 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. 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!!”

Adesanya might not be the only one with this idea. His City Kickboxing teammates and fellow UFC fighters, Alexander Volkanovski and Dan Hooker might be thinking the same. Volkanovski has been away from home for months filming The Ultimate Fighter and fighting last weekend. Dan Hooker is looking at a possible six months before getting to return. Residents of New Zealand must quarantine in a government facility hotel for two weeks after returning from travel. The person returning fronts the bill and the amount of rooms available is slim. Availability return rooms are booked several months in advance.

Not only will Adesanya move to the U.S full-time, but he has no plans to ever fight in New Zealand again. He was frustrated with the way the government had treated Dan Hooker and no longer wants to help the economy with his fights.

“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].”

Adesanya has his next fight set against fellow Oceania fighter Robert Whittaker. The bout is targeted to take place in January and the location will ultimately be in the United States, or on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.

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Nicole Bosco