Israel Adesanya is not happy with the conditions he and his team have been forced to train under.
The UFC middleweight champion promised to never fight on New Zealand soil in consequence of what he deems unfair treatment from the New Zealand government and the COVID-19 restrictions of the “Managed Isolation and Quarantine” system.
Adesanya (21-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) feels his gym City Kickboxing and New Zealand MMA have not been backed by the government and even targeted when compared to other sports teams in the country.
“You will never see me fight in New Zealand ever again, ever again,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel. “All that money, they can get it from somewhere else: The rugby, the cricket, and all the others they’re giving exemptions to. But for me, you will never ever see me fight on these shores [again].
“That was one of my dreams, one of my dreams was to headline a stadium in my backyard. That dream is dead, dead in the water. … That’s just the way I feel right now. F*ck these c*nts, I just don’t respect them and what they’re doing to my boys.”
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Adesanya and his teammates had been training and living at the City Kickboxing quarters, forming their own bubble so they can be in compliance with the IQ rules. However, Adesanya said the wording around the rules and restrictions was updated, which forbid them to manage their training the way they had been doing it.
According to reports, as well as Adesanya, several members of the City Kickboxing were caught twice by police breaching the quarantine restrictions, as they helped Dan Hooker prepare for Saturday’s UFC 266 bout in Las Vegas against Nasrat Haqparast.
Adesanya took the reporting from the journalists, who caught his team breaching the restrictions, along with his feeling of lack of support from the New Zealand government personal.
“The constant effort to stifle, break up and disrupt our team, City Kickboxing, from helping our team captain get ready for his fight, that’s pissed me off the most,” Adesanya said.
“If it was me, I already know they don’t like me – the bureaucrats of this country. ‘Oh, he talks too much, he’s not humble enough, he doesn’t represent a true Kiwi,’ that’s a built-in excuse. Also, they’re racist, they don’t want a black boy representing New Zealand. But you’re doing this to Dan ‘Hangman’ Hooker. … Dan drapes this country over his shoulders. He puts this country on his back. …
“They (the New Zealand government) don’t understand that we’re the biggest sporting team out of New Zealand right now. I’m not talking in history, because we’re only just starting, but right now, putting New Zealand on the map. We’re the ones bringing eyes to New Zealand.”
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