City Kickboxing head coach Eugene Bareman reflected on New Zealand's new regulations that will allow his fighters to stay in their home country, rather relocate to the United States in order to train for fights.
Bareman, who trains notable names like UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, Dan Hooker and Kai-Kara France, stated that the easement in regulations now means that fighters will have to spend less time in quarantine, and that they can quarantine at home.
"We are now going to be able to get home faster than we ever have been in the last 2 years, which is almost immediately and then we are going to have to do quarantine half as long as what we have been doing. And we get to do it at home! Which really makes all the difference... so there's real reason to go overseas [to hold training camps]... so for now, I'm a very happy man."
Eugene Bareman and his fighters, especially Dan Hooker, endured tough times trying to get to the United States to compete in the UFC during the Covid-19 pandemic. 'The Hangman' previously criticized the New Zealand government for not supporting small businesses and athletes during the pandemic restrictions.
Before his fight with Nasrat Haqparast, Hooker was denied a visa to go to the United States. However, after a long and grueling battle with the authorities, he finally made it to the fight.
Two fighters from City Kickboxing under Eugene Bareman will be competing in the next two UFC events. Brad Riddell will take on Rafael Fiziev at UFC Vegas 44 and Bareman's pupil Kai-Kara France will face former title holder Cody Garbrandt at UFC 269.
Eugene Bareman says Dan Hooker was 'in limbo'; claims it would've been 'regrettable' to move overseas
Eugene Barman recalled Dan Hooker's journey to the United States and stated that he was 'in limbo', as Hooker was unsure about the regulations in his home country of New Zealand.
Eugene Bareman also expressed relief at not having to shift his gym overseas due to the restrictions. He added:
Well, Dan was in limbo. Dan was in limbo because whole team was in limbo. Now we have dates that we can get home, and we can go in and out of the country freely, so there's no need to be overseas... everybody who was training overseas is now coming home...[previously] we would have done what we needed to do [move to overseas], but it would have been regrettable."
Watch Eugene Bareman's full interview below: