VITOR BELFORT wants to merge boxing and MMA into a new sport – and has challenged Canelo Alvarez to fight by the brand new rules.
The Brazilian, who held the UFC lightweight 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 only fight in 2006, has a vision to mix his two passions.
This would allow a stall during a fight, but no MMA strikes such as kicks, elbows or knees as well as prohibited eliminations.
Belfort is thinking of bringing the two sports into one, and is setting up more super-crossover fights with stars of opposite codes combining their rules.
He told SunSport: “The future of combat sports is the fusion of these two incredible combat sports.
“Right now we box by boxing rules, and I accept that. But in the future, I want to mix boxing with the martial arts aspect.
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“There are so many guys out there, name it, tons of champions and my goal is to merge.
“I want to call it ‘Box Martial Arts.’ If they’re brave 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 you and hold you, to be able to fight melee. I want to see if they can survive this.
“And that’s why I want to merge, I believe I can beat any guy, in any boxing division with those kind of rules.”
Former UFC champions such as Belfort, 44, Conor McGregor, 33, and Anderson Silva, 46, have all been in the ring before.
But boxers entering the cage have been much more limited, with James Toney, 53, and Claressa Shields, 26, the two most prominent.
Belfort believes his brand new merger would allow for a more level playing field and give MMA fighters more freedom in the ring.
The future of combat sports is the amalgamation of these two incredible combat sports.
He said: “It’s like literally bringing what I have worked for all my life, to advance boxing in 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 those kind of rules.
“I call it a bit of evening on the ground, not with kicks, with punches and that’s where I challenge anyone, anyone in the whole boxing world.”
Belfort is convinced that his master plan is revolutionary and wants to test it against boxing’s current attraction, Canelo.
He said: “It will be like discovering gold, we have so many great guys out there.
“Canelo is one, champions versus champions, legends versus legends.”