Israel Adesanya will get a chance to shine under the bright lights at Madison Square Garden when he fights American Derek Brunson in November.
The Weekend Herald can reveal the unbeaten Kiwi will meet the UFC's No6-ranked middleweight in New York on November 4 at UFC 230, joining a fight card already stacked with middleweight talent.
"That's a spot for hundreds of years, or however long, it's been the pinnacle, or a milestone for any combat sports athlete, or any athlete for that matter," Adesanya told the Weekend Herald.
"For me to dance under those lights and that roof, it'll be something special."
Since opening in 1879, Madison Square Garden has been a Mecca for combat sports, having hosted such bouts as Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali's Fight of the Century, and Conor McGregor's UFC title unifying win over Eddie Alvarez.
After picking apart Hawaiian striker Brad Tavares in his first UFC main event and landing a spot inside the division's top 10, Adesanya had called for a match against Uriah Hall (No12) or Paulo Costa (No8).
At the time, UFC boss Dana White said that wasn't the fight he was getting, and instead matched him against 34-year-old Brunson, who called out Adesanya on social media after his win over Tavares and the two have traded barbs online since.
"He started it and they made him ... he'd never call me out on his own," Adesanya said.
"I'm already in his head; he's too scared of me already. But that's for later."
Adesanya enters fight camp with a 14-0 record (3-0 UFC), winning 12 of his 14 professional bouts by knockout. Brunson holds an 18-6 record (12-5 UFC), most recently suffering a first-round knockout loss to Ronaldo Souza. Souza will also feature at UFC 230 against David Branch, while Yoel Romero will fight Costa.
The event will be headlined by lightweight Nate Diaz, who will return from a two-year absence to fight Dustin Poirier. The bout will be a co-headliner with another still to be announced. Diaz, a former UFC lightweight title challenger with a 19-11 record, has not competed since losing to McGregor at UFC 202.
The fight against Brunson will be Adesanya's fourth since joining the UFC, which signals the end of his first contract with the promotion. The 29-year-old said his team were in talks with the UFC on a new deal.
Having agreed to the fight at Madison Square Garden, Adesanya will be unavailable when the UFC returns Downunder with a show in Adelaide on December 2.
"I'll be watching, but hopefully Shane (Young), Kai (Kara-France) and some of my other teammates can stack that card up."