VITOR BELFORT wants to merge boxing and MMA into a new sport – and has challenged Canelo Alvarez to fight under the all-new rules.
The Brazilian, who held the UFC light-heavyweight title in 2004, used his boxing and jiujitsu skills to become an accomplished MMA legend.
He left the UFC in 2018 and now returns in a boxing match against heavyweight legend Evander Holyfield, 58, on Saturday night.
But Belfort, officially 1-0 as a boxer after his sole bout in 2006, has a vision to mix his two passions.
It would allow for clinching during a fight, but no MMA strikes such as kicks, elbows or knees as well as prohibited takedowns.
Belfort believes it brings the two sports into one, and sets up more super-crossover fights with stars of the opposing codes combining their rules.
He told SunSport: "The future of combat sports is the merge between these two amazing combat sports.
"Right now, we are boxing under boxing rules, and I accept it. But in the future, I want to mix boxing with the martial arts aspect.
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"There's so many guys out there, you name it, tons of champions and my goal is to merge.
"I want to call it 'Box Martial Arts'. If they will be courageous enough – I don't want kicks, I don't want knees, I don't want elbows.
"I don't want it to go to the ground. I just want to be able to box and hold you, to be able to fight in the clinch. I want to see if they can survive that.
"And that's why I want to merge, I believe I can beat any guy, in any division in boxing with those kind of rules."
Former UFC champions such as Belfort, 44, Conor McGregor, 33, and Anderson Silva, 46, have all crossed over to the ring before.
But boxers heading into the cage has been far more limited, with James Toney, 53, and Claressa Shields, 26, the two most high profile.
Belfort believes his all-new merger would allow for a more even playing field, and gives MMA fighters added freedom in the ring.
The future of combat sports is the merge between these two amazing combat sports.
He said: "It's like literally bringing what I've been working my whole life for, evolving boxing into my sport.
"It's called boxing-martial arts. Boxing has so many rules, you can't do this, you can't do that, so I want to see if a boxer can box with me with these kind of rules.
"I call it evening the ground a little, not with kicking, with punches and that's where I challenge anyone, anyone in the whole entire boxing world."
Belfort is convinced his masterplan is revolutionary and wants to put it to the test against boxing's current top attraction Canelo.
He said: "It's going to be like discovering gold, we have so many good guys out there.
"Canelo is one, champions versus champions, legends versus legends."
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