Here’s Why I Absolutely Love NZ Fighters

Dec 8, 2023
A. J. Riot

New Zealand, a small island nation tucked away in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, is not the first place that springs to mind when you think of mixed martial arts (MMA). However, as an ardent UFC fan, I’ve come to develop a deep appreciation and fascination for fighters hailing from this part of the world. There’s something unique and captivating about NZ fighters that sets them apart in the global MMA scene, and I’m here to share my personal insights on why I absolutely love them.

The Warrior Spirit

The first aspect that strikes me about NZ fighters is their indomitable warrior spirit. This is not surprising, considering the rich Māori culture that permeates New Zealand society. The Māori, known for their fierce warrior ethos, have a traditional combat art called ‘Mau rākau’, which seems to have subtly influenced NZ fighters.

There’s a raw, unyielding tenacity in these fighters that is palpable every time they step into the octagon. It’s not just about the technical skills or the physical prowess; it’s the heart and the unbreakable will they bring to every fight that truly captivates me.

A Melting Pot of Styles

Another aspect that makes NZ fighters stand out is the eclectic mix of fighting styles they bring to the table. Mixed martial arts, as the name suggests, is about the fusion of different martial arts disciplines.

In New Zealand, this fusion seems to take on a new dimension. Many NZ fighters have a background in traditional martial arts like Karate or Taekwondo, blended seamlessly with more modern combat sports like Boxing or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

This blend creates a unique fighting style that is both unpredictable and highly effective. As a fan, it’s always exciting to see how these diverse skills play out in the cage.

Humility in Victory, Grace in Defeat

Sportsmanship is a big deal in martial arts, and NZ fighters exemplify this beautifully. Whether they’re basking in the glory of victory or nursing the wounds of defeat, there’s a consistent thread of humility and grace that runs through their conduct.

This is refreshing in a sport where trash talking and ostentatious displays often take center stage. It’s this humble attitude, coupled with their fierce competitiveness, that endears them to fans like myself.

Entertainment Value and Fans

Kiwi UFC fighters really know how to put on a show while remaining a trustworthy fighter. That is why they have some of the most loyal fanbases. In fact, according to, these fans often contribute the largest bets during their fights.

Due to such personal involvement in the fighter’s success, some Kiwi fans become absolutely enamored by their favorites, following them everywhere and always supporting them.

Breaking Stereotypes

In the world of MMA, stereotypes are rampant. However, NZ fighters are breaking these molds, showing the world that there’s no one-size-fits-all in this sport. Be it their fighting styles, their cultural backgrounds, or their approach to the sport, they’re constantly challenging the status quo.

This is crucial in a sport that’s still evolving, and as a fan, it’s exhilarating to witness this evolution being partly spearheaded by fighters from New Zealand.

Personal Favorites

As a UFC enthusiast, I have a few NZ fighters that I particularly admire. Israel Adesanya, with his striking prowess and charismatic personality, tops my list. His ability to combine precision striking with an almost dance-like movement in the octagon is nothing short of art.

Then there’s Dan Hooker, a fighter who epitomizes the term ‘never say die’. His bouts are a testament to his resilience and determination, qualities that make him a fan favorite.

Community and Brotherhood

The sense of community and brotherhood among NZ fighters is something that deeply impresses me. In many instances, you’ll find these athletes training together, supporting each other, and celebrating each other’s successes.

This camaraderie extends beyond personal victories and defeats; it’s about uplifting the sport in their country and on the international stage. This collective spirit is rare in a sport as individually focused as MMA, and it’s a testament to the unique sporting culture fostered in New Zealand.

Innovation in Training

NZ fighters are also known for their innovative approaches to training. Given the geographical isolation of New Zealand, fighters and coaches have often had to be creative in their training methodologies. This has led to a culture of innovation where traditional training methods are blended with new, experimental techniques.

The result is a breed of fighters who are not just physically prepared for the rigors of the octagon but are also mentally and tactically ahead of the curve. As someone who appreciates the technical aspects of MMA, watching NZ fighters is a lesson in adaptability and innovation.

Global Ambassadors

NZ fighters have become global ambassadors for the sport. Their success in international arenas like the UFC has put New Zealand on the MMA map. Young athletes in New Zealand now have homegrown role models to look up to, which is crucial for the development of the sport at the grassroots level.

As a fan, it’s heartening to see the positive impact these fighters are having, inspiring a new generation of talent in their homeland.


In conclusion, NZ fighters hold a special place in the realm of MMA for me. Their warrior spirit, diverse fighting styles, commendable sportsmanship, and stereotype-breaking attitudes make them stand out in the crowded space of international MMA. As the sport continues to grow and evolve, I’m excited to see how these fighters from the Land of the Long White Cloud will continue to make their mark on the global stage.