Kiwi UFC middleweight world champion Israel Adesanya is out to claim a slice of combat sports immortality in 2021.
As reported by Newshub in October, Adesanya's highly anticipated next fight will be a clash with light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz to become the UFC's fifth dual-division king.
On Thursday (NZ time), UFC president Dana White told ESPN that the bout will headline UFC 259 on March 7. The location and venue are yet to be determined.
Undefeated in nine-straight UFC bouts since his debut, 'The Last Stylebender' will move up a weight class to face the Polish champion, who won the belt vacated by incumbent Jon Jones with a KO victory against Dominick Reyes in September.
The 20-0 Adesanya has long hinted at a move to a different weight class, and after Robert Whittaker comfortably handled Jared Cannonier to erase what promised to be his last genuine middleweight challenger, the timing now seems ideal to step up.
Holding two belts simultaenously would put Adesanya in an elite class with a handful of the sport's greatest fighters, namely Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes, Henry Cejudo, and Daniel Cormier.
Hard-hitting 37-year-old Blachowicz has won nine of his past 10 bouts and is currently riding a four-fight win streak, including his upset victory over Reyes.
Adesanya's bout with Blachowicz is one of two world title fights on a cards shaping to be stacked with quality, with Nunes' defence against Aussie Megan Anderson and a high-stakes light heavyweight bout between Aleksander Rakic and Thiago Santos also pencilled in.
The event will likely be held at the UFC Apex Centre in Las Vegas or on the promotion's 'Fight Island' facility in Abu Dhabi.