The UFC has been knocking on Kiwi mixed martial artist Israel Adesanya’s door since October 2015 – and finally he’s answered.
The 28-year-old has made no secret that he controls his fate, even when it comes to accepting an offer from the world’s number one fighting organisation and now with an undefeated professional MMA record of 11 wins, he believes he's ready.
"I used my opportunities to get my experience outside of the UFC and fought guys from all over the world – I didn’t just jump in," Adesanya told Newshub.
"All eyes are on me but it doesn't faze me. This is how it's been my entire career since grassroots. I'm coming to get the work done."
The decorated "Style Bender" won his last fight in spectacular fashion in Melbourne with a devastating question mark head kick finish in the first round.
But it was his round one TKO win in the Australian Fighting Championship against former UFC and Bellator fighter Melvin Guillard in July that really made his mark.
This prompted the Kiwi and his coach Eugene Bareman to finally accept a four-fight contract the promotion with a debut booked for Perth's UFC 221 in February, where he'll join fellow Kiwi Mark Hunt and NZ-born headlining act Robert Whittaker.
Adesanya's first opponent will be Rob "Razor" Wilkinson in the middleweight division and he's wasted no time in sending the Australian a stern warning.
"After this fight he's going to get cut (from the UFC).
"He's already lost in the UFC and he's about to lose this one in a bad way, so he's getting cut."
The Nigerian-born middleweight is in Las Vegas helping teammate Dan Hooker for his clash against Mark Diakiese on Sunday (NZT), and he's not letting his first round of USADA testing deter him.
"I like where the sport is going. If you want to cheat this isn’t the game for you. Go play something else like baseball or bowling," says Adesanya.
"I'm a clean athlete, I have no problems testing now."
One problem he does have is being called an Australian. Multiple media reports in the US have labelled the Aucklander as Australian-born.
Adesanya moved to New Zealand from Nigeria when he was 11-years-old, settling in the City of Sails and finding a home at City Kickboxing gym.
Not only is he concentrate on his own career, but he's also continuously helping prepare his team - which now boasts three UFC fighters - for some of the world's most prestigious combat sport stages.
"Don't sleep on us because we are in a quiet little corner on Earth – we are coming," warns Adesanya.
"We (City Kickboxing) are New Zealand’s top team and soon people will know we are one of the top teams in the world."
In addition to his 11-0 MMA record, the prospect also holds a 75-4 kickboxing record and a 5-1 boxing record.