There comes a time when everyone draws a line in the sand. And if pushed any further, there are consequences. And that is happening with the presently red hot New Zealand gym, City Kickboxing. With the word coming from the gym’s captain, Israel Adesanya; a move is afoot. And that is making fans Stateside wonder aloud, where will CKB move to?

The middleweight champion sent out this message on social media:

“Cats out of the bag…I’m moving to America. When faced with obstacles, we adapt and overcome. I’m 32 and applying pressure like J Cole before I’m out of the game. We built this legacy @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 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”

This immediately started getting responses. First from Kiwis who understood their situation, and then from rabid fans across the United States, pitching their cities to Adesanya.

Now fighters moving isn’t anything new, but moving a whole gym takes a lot more due to all the moving parts. In fairness, head man Eugene Bareman hasn’t exactly confirmed or denied anything yet. But everyone in New Zealand is in the same boat.

This past week the 32-year old Champion also teed off on the governments bureaucracy saying:

“You will never see me fight in New Zealand again. Ever again, I’m done. 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 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”

All this stems from the country’s overly strict guidelines and Covid-19 policy. The fact that his teammate, Dan Hooker was able to get to Vegas at the last second bothered him deeply. But the original crack in the “for love of country” mantra happened earlier.

A teammate was brutally murdered, and received a punishment that makes one scratch their heads. House arrest. Yes, that’s all this person got for taking a life. He couldn’t leave his house. Adesanya, with his finger on social issues, was livid about this.

Where Will CKB Move

New Zealand has some incredible landscapes to train in. As a matter of fact, the gym uses the ocean for a decent amount of it. They have a terrain that pushes a fighters cardio like few other spots. So where would they fit in the U.S.?

Where Will CKB Move To

California would top the list of locations, especially with near perfect weather. But restrictions there may play a part. That leaves Texas, and Florida as options, but neither seems like a good fit for the team. Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Washington State all seem like better fits.

But what might be the best fit, might just be a bit further west, and probably the longest shot out of every state. Hawaii has the landscape, ocean, and warrior vibe they might be looking for.

Adesanya, Alexander Volkanovski, and Hooker

Of course they could come to the East coast, but weather seems like it would put them out of the running. But wherever they decide to rest their heads, it’ll draw attention. Any fighter “struggling” to find the right fit, would absolutely look like a genius in joining them.

Bareman, is a calming but honest influence in the corner. And in the gym zeroes in on his fighters qualities, getting the best out of them; rather than looking for holes in opponents. But until “The Last Stylebender” truly broke through wasn’t on anyone’s radar. With success, brings attention however. And the back-to-back Coach Of The Year and Gym Of The Year is perfectly happy being the tortoise and not the hare.

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About Author


Cyclone, considers himself the Chris "MadDog" Russo of combat sports. He got the nickname in 1984 after riding the roller coaster multiple times, and then made it his professional name. He's been officially covering combat sports since January 2017 when Chael Sonnen fought Tito Ortiz. Cyclone's been lucky enough to do some regional mma play-by-play. Loving to entertain since childhood, he continues to round out his schedule as a comedian, actor, producer, and show host. Away from the "bright lights", he enjoys cooking, fishing, and gambling. A lover of animals Cyclone hopes to one day return to working at an animal shelter.

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