Israel Adesanya after winning the UFC Middleweight Championship

There was a point in time where it seemed like every other MMA fighter either wanted to box or were calling out boxers for a cross-code fight.

Part of that is because of Conor McGregor’s highly-lucrative boxing match with Floyd Mayweather in 2017. The Irishman made nine-figures for that bout and even hinted at continuing in the sport simply because of how much bigger the paydays were.

It’s no secret that it pays better than MMA. However, UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has no plans on boxing whatsoever.

Instead, he hopes to become the first UFC fighter to earn a nine-figure payday.

“This [UFC] is where I’m going to end my career,” Adesanya said on Ebro in the Morning. “People say, ‘oh, after UFC, you can go to boxing and have one super fight maybe with Canelo and make a hundred million.’

“I’m like, I can do that in the UFC. I might be the first fighter to do that in the UFC.”

Israel Adesanya drops Robert Whittaker in round two at UFC 243
Israel Adesanya drops Robert Whittaker in round two at UFC 243 (Getty Images)

Adesanya is seen by many to be the next breakout star of the UFC and if anyone other than McGregor could make that amount, it would be him.

But even if money was no issue, “The Last Stylebender” has no interest in the sweet science simply because it would take away the rest of his tools.

“It’s silly. Why would I come to the proving ground of all fighting — the UFC — and then afterward, fight a guy and take away like 80 percent of my weapons,” Adesanya later added. “… I want to kick people. I want to strangle someone. I can’t do that in boxing. I don’t want to get into the clinch and then okay, break.

“Same thing with kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, judo, wrestling — they’re all limited styles of fighting. If you want to be the baddest motherfucker in the world. Pound-for-pound…everyone throws that greatest fighter, pound-for-pound is Canelo [Alvarez]. He’s the pound-for-pound maybe greatest boxer right now. Not fighter. You have to test yourself against another style.”

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