Ultimate Fighting Championship or UFC is extremely popular in New Zealand and for years it has supplied viewers with some of the best shows from all corners of the world including Las Vegas and Auckland. If you don’t know much about MMA or fighters in multidisciplinary sports, this article is exactly what you need. We are going to discuss the following:
- Famous UFC fighters from New Zealand;
- How to bet on UFC shows at the best casinos in NZ;
- Reasons to follow the best NZ UFC fighters, and more.
Stay tuned and discover the exciting world of mixed martial arts!
Top NZ UFC Fighters
|Name||Division||Fighting career||MMA total/wins|
|Kai Kara-France||Flyweight||2010 – present||36/24|
|Robert Whittaker||Middleweight||2009 – present||31/24|
|Israel Adesanya||Middleweight||2010 – present||27/24|
|Dan Hooker||Featherweight||2010 – present||35/23|
|Shane Young||Lightweight||2012 – present||21/13|
|Mark Hunt||Heavyweight||1998 – present||23/13|
|Janay Harding||Featherweight||2014 – present||14/6|
General information on the Best UFC Fighters in New Zealand
Many of you will agree that MMA fighting offers a spectacular experience whether you are sitting in the front row or watching the event from the comfort of your home. Especially when it comes to the shows with renowned UFC fighters from New Zealand. They know everything about UFC fighters justice and mastery. Some even hold world records and nine fight win streaks, offering viewers unforgettable pastimes.
With so many UFC stars, national rugby and cricket leagues have serious competitors and below, we are going to tell you about the most outstanding of them.
The first undisputed champion from NZ on our list is Kai Kara-France. He comes from Auckland and has a Don’t Blink nickname, probably referring to his speed and agility. Kara-France started practising Brazilian jiu-jitsu at an early age but quickly switched to mixed martial arts and succeeded. He holds several MMA records and numerous fight win streaks and occupies 5th place in the UFC flyweight rankings. Kai Kara-France is a member of New Zealand’s City Kickboxing and an ultimate fighter winner with 11 knockout victories.
Robert The Reaper Whittaker is one of the most successful and charismatic UFC fighters in NZ known for some of the best MMA records. Born in Auckland, he and his family moved to Australia at the age of 6 where he started attending the Goju-ryu Karate school. In 2012, Whittaker first participated in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and even got an extra $25,000 for the Knockout of the Season. This UFC middleweight champion has 24 wins in 31 shows with 9 knockouts and 5 submissions and is often called the Kicking King.
Israel Adesanya is one of the best NZ UFC fighters. Born in Nigeria in 1989, the future middleweight kickboxing champion is the eldest of five children and has a strong connection with his family. When Israel was 10 years old, they moved to New Zealand seeking a better life.
Adesanya started professional training at the age of 18 and soon won kickboxing gold, as well as participated in the King of the Ring tournament and UFC. As of October 2023, Israel is named 8th in the men’s pound-for-pound rankings and remains the NZ’s biggest UFC fighter with 24 wins in 27 shows.
Dan The Hangman Hooker is a featherweight champion from Auckland, NZ. He grew up with rugby in mind, but everything changed after graduation when his MMA talent was discovered. Hangman Dan Hooker is considered one of the best fighters due to impressive awards like the King of the Ring champion and WKBF X-Rules Welterweight Champion. As of August 2023, he is #9 in the UFC lightweight rankings with 23 wins (11 by knockout) in 35 shows.
It is easy to recognize Shane Young among other New Zealand MMA fighters because of his memorable appearance. Young is of European and Maori descent, and you can find countless interviews where he praises his roots. During school years, Shane was the rugby team captain and switched to mixed martial arts only after graduation. This UFC featherweight fighter prefers kickboxing and has a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Shane Young is not just a great fighter but a mental health advocate openly discussing his problems that occurred on the wave of success.
Mark Hunt is a 49-year-old MMA fighter and kickboxer from South Auckland, NZ. Performer of the heavyweight division, Hunt is known as the King of Walk-offs due to his popularisation of stopping the attacks before the referee ends the match. Before practising traditional martial arts, Hunt was a troublemaker which resulted in two jail terms. His career started in 1998 and his UFC contract ended only in 2012. Being a former ultimate fighter winner, Mark Hunt opened doors for many New Zealanders and showed that rage can turn into art.
Janay Harding is a MMA fighter competing in the featherweight division. She was born in Christchurch but moved to Australia at the age of 10. Harding is most known for participating in Bellator MMA fights and interim championships. She has participated in 14 matches and received 6 wins, 4 of which by knockout. Despite her young age, Janay is one of the best NZ UFC fighters that many Kiwis look up to.
New NZ UFC Fighters
The best MMA fighters like Kai Kara-France and Israel Adesanya have greatly contributed to popularizing this dynamic sport. They were followed by Brogan Anderson, Rober Whittaker, and many female UFC fighters from NZ. Plus, the country itself is promoting mixed martial arts and opening new schools for youngsters and adults who want to master this art. We are sure that rather soon the number of New Zealand UFC fighters will increase and many of them will even make it to the world’s top 10 in different categories.
How to Watch NZ UFC Fighters Live?
The Ultimate Fighting Championship becomes the main event for millions of people. And if you can’t attend the show in Las Vegas, don’t get upset because there are many ways to watch the best NZ UFC Fighters live:
- Sky Sports is the official broadcaster of UFC events and offers pay-per-view options for fans wanting to watch the live action from home;
- Pay-per-view events can also be purchased through the UFC’s official website. These options allow fans to stream the fights live on their computer or mobile device;
- It’s important to note that these streams are often unofficial and may not offer the best quality or reliable coverage;
- For a more social experience, heading out to a bar or pub can be a fun and lively way to watch the fights with others. And for those.
- Broadcasts at bars and restaurants can also offer a unique experience with drink specials and a lively atmosphere.
Betting on UFC Fights
The online casino and betting industry is exciting and diverse, and many users choose it as a way to have fun and make some money. Here are a few things you should know before betting on New Zealand UFC fighters:
- Understand the MMA basics: fighting styles, weight divisions, and so on;
- Master different types of betting odds;
- Choose the right online casino or sportsbook;
- Start with smaller bets and never wager all your money on one event.
Why Watching UFC Fights is So Popular?
Watching both MMA and Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a great way to spend time and entertain yourself. If you haven’t done it yet, we highly recommend watching NZ UFC fighters for the following reasons:
- A great way to entertain yourself and feel the adrenaline rush without going anywhere;
- An opportunity to learn more about various fighting styles;
- Participation of celebrities and athletes from all over the world.
If you are a fan of pro fighting and don’t have a chance to fly to Vegas, watch the events online either on official UFC platforms, TV broadcasts, or partnering sportsbooks.
Why You Should Bet on a UFC Fight?
There are many reasons why thousands of people head to the best betting sites to wager on sports or championship fights. Here is why you might want to bet on UFC fighters as well:
- Active participation in the show instead of being a side observer;
- Lots of betting options that suit your knowledge, budget, and expectations;
- Improving different skills like critical thinking and decision-making;
- Social interactions. Many people get together with their friends and families and make wagers for fun;
- A chance to make extra money.
Female NZ UFC Fighters
Apart from Janay Harding, there are many other female UFC Fighters from NZ worth mentioning. For example:
- Megan Anderson. Born and raised in Gold Coast, Queensland, Anderson served two and a half years in the military and then got involved in boxing. She competes in the UFC and Invicta Fighting Championships.
- Kay Hansen is Dan Hooker’s sister. She competes in the strawweight division and has made her UFC debut in 2020.
- Chantel Cameron is Kai Kara-France’s sister and professional boxer. She also participates in the UFC in the flyweight division.
Are other UFC Fighters Coming To NZ?
The Ultimate Fighting Championship was last hosted in New Zealand in February 2020 when Dan Hooker and Paul Felder met to the sounds of applauds of 10,000 viewers. There were also millions of spectators at official broadcasts and trusted online casinos because everyone wanted to know who the best UFC fighter would be.
Since then, New Zealand has been doing everything possible to host another show with renowned UFC fighters and we are sure that rather soon Kiwis will be able to welcome them in their home streets.
Our Verdict: Conclusion on Best UFC Fighters in NZ
While rugby and cricket are considered the most popular kinds of sports in New Zealand, there is one activity that doesn’t lag. We are talking about mixed martial arts and the Ultimate Fighting Championship where many Kiwis have already set world records. In this article, we wanted to tell you more about the best NZ UFC fighters and explained where you can watch and bet on these exciting shows.
Watch the first round, explore the mastership of MMA players, and we guarantee that your life will never be the same!
Best NZ UFC Fighters FAQ
Why is UFC so popular?
- There are many reasons why people love watching UFC champions so much. The most common ones are entertainment, diverse fighting styles, and a chance to see celebrities. You can also bet on New Zealand’s UFC fighters and win some money.
What are the best UFC fighters in New Zealand?
- In the article above we have already discussed the best MMA fighters. But if you want to deepen your knowledge, we recommend researching such names as Max Holloway, Paul Felder, Stefan Struve, Uriah Hall, Mike Diamond, Derrick Lewis, Roy Nelson, Cheick Kongo, Mirko “Cro Cop”, Jose Aldo, and Chad Mendes.
How to bet on UFC NZ fighters?
- First of all, learn the theory – how the UFC works, what types of bets there are, who the main fighters are, and so on. Then choose a licensed and reputable sportsbook with top-notch data encryption. Afterwards, create an account, top your balance, and make a bet on the show, fighter, or outcome.
Can you watch UFC fights for free?
- Unfortunately, most shows, especially major ones, can’t be watched for free because UFC uses the pay-per-view model. However, NZ viewers can use several tricks like free preliminary fights, trial periods, and broadcasts at bars, sportsbooks, and online casinos.