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Israel Adesanya plans move to United States to resume career after promise to ‘never’ fight in New Zealand again

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Adesanya last defended his belt in June, improving to 21-1 in MMA with a win over Marvin Vettori.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Israel Adesanya might move his entire camp to the United States to continue his reign as the UFC middleweight champion.

“The Last Stylebender” is expected to face Robert Whittaker next, but the UFC is currently unable to set a date for the rematch due to the the travel restrictions and lockdown measures imposed by New Zealand.

Adesanya’s teammate Dan Hooker barely made it to Las Vegas to face Nasrat Haqparast this past weekend at UFC 266 after a long battle to secure a visa and that appeared to be the last straw for the 185-pound king, who took on social media to announce his decision to move to the United States.

“Cats out the bag… I’m moving to America,” Adesanya wrote. “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 City Kickboxing ourselves and the support of the people. No [government] handouts or backing and became the number one winning gym on earth! Four walls and a roof 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!”

On the days leading up to UFC 266, Adesanya went off on YouTube about the New Zealand’s “bureaucratic,” vowing to never compete in his adopted country again.

“You will never see me fight in New Zealand ever again. Ever again. I’m done,” Adesanya said. “All that money, they can get it from somewhere else. The rugby, the crickets, and all the others they’re f***ing 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.”