Israel Adesanya backs NZ to host his next fight

News 16/07/2020

"There's no better place to do it than New Zealand."

UFC star and current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has made it clear where he wants to next grace the Octagon.

On Sunday, UFC boss Dana White hinted that the company was exploring the possibility of hosting another event in New Zealand to take advantage of its crowds amid relatively coronavirus-free conditions.

Adesanya has since said it makes perfect sense for an upcoming title defence against Brazil's Paulo Costa to take place in our backyard.

"That's a no brainer," Adesanya told Newshub. "100 percent, f**k yeah.

"I have to headline Spark Arena before my career is over and to defend my title there against this inflated balloon animal, that'd be beautiful."

Despite most sports shutting down due to COVID-19, the UFC has continued to stage fight cards at its Las Vegas performance centre as well as putting together a purpose-built 'Fight Island' in Abu Dhabi to better cater to international fighters.

However, no crowds at said events has made a noticeable difference - and Adesanya hopes the ability to have crowds at sporting events in New Zealand will help sway White.

"It makes sense. If you want a crowd, if you want things to go back to fans and have them enjoy the show and give them what they want live, there's no better place to do it than New Zealand."