Adesanya announced this week his intention to immigrate from his homeland to the United States, a decision made by “The Last Stylebender” in part because of New Zealand’s strict “Managed Isolation and Quarantine” (MIQ) protocols that made it difficult for fighters to obtain visas to compete abroad. .
The measure, designed to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 in New Zealand, has also seen the removal of so-called ‘lockdown bubbles’, making it increasingly difficult for some of the country’s top MMA stars to rehearse for upcoming fights, as well, the MIQ system adds to concerns that the fighter’s return to New Zealand could be delayed indefinitely pending authorization from MIQ.
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For his part, Ardern said that people like Adesanya and fellow City Kickboxing teammate Dan Hooker have not been unfairly targeted with MIQ demands.
« I certainly don’t expect there to be a difference in the way athletes are treated,” The leader was quoted as saying.
“Having seen some of these reviews, I see that there is a wide range of issues out there and there is no doubt that managed isolation makes it difficult to come and go from New Zealand and travel when you have a role that requires travel.
“So I am fully aware of that, but I hope all of our athletes believe that in the circumstances we find ourselves in, everyone is treated fairly even though we have tight limits.. »
However, Adesanya does not fully agree with what he sees as an oppressive regime that has forced his move to the United States in the interests of his career.
« It’s like turning on the gas…or lyingAdesanya wrote on Instagram with a photo of Ardern’s face superimposed on Mike Myers’ character Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movie series.
« Why do you always have lyyyyyiing!! He added with a long statement from City Kickboxing explaining their position.
« We have been advised that we do not meet the team’s eligibility criteria for size or financial eligibility criteria to bring income to New Zealand. We strongly oppose these two positions, Read the statement from the Eugene Barman Fighting Team.
« Not only are CKB sports representatives of the national team wearing silver ferns with pride, but we are also a company that provides jobs, supports many families, and generates significant economic benefits for the country.
Whether it’s two mega-shows in stadiums or one of the highest per capita viewing of UFC events in the world, or through event venues, hospitality, gyms and lounges across New Zealand, full of people watching one of the sport’s fastest growing countries. »
They added that their frank statement should ” Draw attention to the inequity and failure of the existing MIQ system.
« Proactively develop reasonable solutions, provided they do not jeopardize public health. Our goal is to reduce the burden on a group much larger than ourselves, they concluded.
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MIQ is also affecting UFC fighter Dan Hooker, who Thursday night agreed to replace Rafael dos Anjos in an upcoming fight against Russia’s Islam Makhachev – although MIQ’s demands mean he doesn’t know when he might be allowed to enter New Zealand again. . Where his wife and young family currently reside.
« I can definitely see where he is (Adesanya). He speaks from the heart, he is upset with the situationHooker said of Adesanya’s complaint.
« I think the powers that be show their true colors. New Zealand sports and the media dignitaries back home in New Zealand just played with us because we brought so much attention to the country…then they saw an opportunity to put a hood on us or dress us up, and show their true colors what they really wanted to do, which was to prevent MMA and UFC from going viral in New Zealand.
« But it is part of the culture of New Zealand. Combat sports are an integral part of our DNA in New Zealand, and we will continue to do so no matter what.. »
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