Israel Adesanya ‘pissed’ off with ‘racist’ New Zealand bureaucrats who don’t want a ‘black boy representing’ them

israel adesanya, new zealand, dan hooker
Jun 12, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Israel Adesanya reacts following his victory against Marvin Vettori during UFC 263 at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It seems that Israel Adesanya’s dreams of one day headlining a major event in his home country of New Zealand are “dead” because of a strong dislike he’s developed towards the nation’s bureaucracy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many difficulties for athletes around the work looking to travel internationally for sporting events. That issue is no different for the talented mixed martial artists at renowned New Zealand mixed martial arts gym City Kickboxing. The home of UFC champions Adesanya, Alexander Volkanovski, and ranked lightweight Dan Hooker. The country has had some of the strictest COVID restrictions in the world as they have looked to maintain low case and death numbers during the pandemic.

Those restrictions have evolved over time and the current UFC middleweight king believes the government has been less than accomodating at times — compared to athletes in other national sports like rugby and cricket — when it comes to allowing City Kickboxing fighters to train and travel abroad for fights.

Israel Adesanya calls some New Zealand official ‘f*cking rascists’

In a new video post to his Freestylebender YouTube channel, Adesanya (21-1) spoke about how local officials and even journalists have looked to “disrupt” the team as they helped to prepare Hooker for his UFC 266 fight against Nasrat Haqparast on Saturday night. For the 32-year-old, it is just the latest installment in the ongoing issues between him and national bureaucrats.

“What we did in October last year, we can’t do this year for this fight because the wording [of COVID restrictions] changed. We had police roll up to the gym, in our bubble, and burst it up. They burst our bubble. That pissed me off. After that we said, Dan’s got a fight, let’s get the work done. And we were getting the work done, but these journalists who have a special pass or whatever to be essential workers, they decided to stake outside of this gym and take pics of us working — or them because I wasn’t involved. We had to minimize it because we knew it was being watched by the ops,” Adesanya said.

“That pissed me off because it was like really, this is what you’re using your privilege to do? But it’s like this constant effort to stifle, break-up, to disrupt our team, City Kickboxing, from helping Dan “Hangman” get ready for his fight. That pissed me off the most. If it was me I already know they don’t like me. The bureaucrats of this f*cking country. [they say] ‘He talks too much, he’s not humble enough.’ Also, they’re racist. Some of them are f*cking racist. Of course, they don’t want a black boy representing New Zealand.”

Adesanya’s says he’ll never fight in New Zealand

israel adesanya, new zealand, dan hooker
Jun 12, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Israel Adesanya reacts against Marvin Vettori during UFC 263 at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Adesanya, a native of Nigeria who immigrated to New Zealand as a child, understands he doesn’t have many fans in the government. However, he was stunned that this sort of treatment –including serious difficulties in getting a travel visa for UFC 266 — would come against his teammate Hooker. A man he says celebrates his New Zealand pride at every UFC event he competes at. Because of this, and what he feels he has endured from elected officials in the past, he claimed in the video his dream of one day headlining a major UFC event in the country is now dead.

“But you’re doing this to Dan “Hangman” Hooker. I don’t give a f*ck about a flag. The New Zealand flag is ugly and I think it looks too much like the Australian flag. The Union Jack is stupid. … Dan drapes this country on his shoulders. In the weigh-ins, on the walkouts. Like he puts this country on his back,” he said.

“They don’t understand we’re the biggest sporting team out of New Zealand right now. Putting New Zealand on the map. We’re the ones bringing eyes to New Zealand. You’ll never see me fight in New Zealand ever again. I’m done. All that money, they can get it from somewhere else. Their rugby, their crickets and all the other f*cking people they’re giving exemptions to. And that was one of my dreams, to headline a stadium in my backyard. That dream’s dead.

Adesanya last fought at UFC 263 in June. On that night in Arizona, he defended his middleweight title for a third straight time during a dominant unanimous decision victory over Marvin Vettori.

Plans are for him to return to the Octagon in January in a rematch against former champion Robert Whittaker.

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