The once phenomenal UFC star Cris Cyborg admitted that boxing icon Manny Pacquiao motivates her to pursue boxing.

Before having a beef with UFC president Dana White, Cyborg was perceived as one of the best fighters in the promotion’s women’s division. Shortly after she parted ways with UFC, Bellator sparked a new flame in Cyborg’s career.

Now that Cyborg is already with Bellator, it was revealed that her contract allows her to participate in boxing matches as well. Some might not know that boxing is also one of Cyborg’s passions. In fact, in her recent interview with Elie Seckbach of EsNews, the 34-year-old MMA star even revealed who motivates her to also try her luck in boxing.

According to Cyborg, aside from Muhammad Ali, Pacquiao is also one of the greatest boxers in her eyes. Apparently, Pacquiao not only motivates her in sports but also to become a better human being as well.

“I’m really happy watching him. He fight like young. And this motivates me,” Cyborg said about Pacquiao’s most recent performance against Keith Thurman.

“Humble guy, helping his family, his people. You help the people where you come from that’s the most important (thing),” Cyborg said about Pacquiao helping his community.

Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao (C) celebrates after beating US boxer Keith Thurman in a WBA super world welterweight title fight in Las Vegas in July 2019 Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao (C) celebrates after beating US boxer Keith Thurman in a WBA super world welterweight title fight in Las Vegas in July 2019 Photo: AFP / John Gurzinski

Upon announcing that she is about to become part of Bellator, Cyborg already stated that her goal is to become the only female fighter holding four different major tiles in the same division. However, Coker was the one who revealed that Cyborg might also compete in boxing under DAZN.

“MMA is going to be her first commitment, but if she wants to box, I’m all about it. But we’re going to be a part of it. You might see her boxing on DAZN a couple times a year or once a year,” Coker revealed.

Coker also confirmed that Cyborg will immediately get a title shot against current Bellator women’s champ Julia Budd. And just recently, Cyborg is reportedly making her Bellator debut next year.

Bellator seems to keep their word about Cyborg getting a title shot in her very first fight. According to Yahoo Sports, Cyborg will challenge Budd, the Bellator women’s featherweight champion, on January 25 at The Forum in Inglewood, California, they announced on Saturday night at Bellator 228.

Cyborg has a 21-2 MMA record. Her only loss since her professional debut in 2005 was handed to her by Amanda Nunes in December at UFC 232. The fight was one of the most notable ones in UFC’s women’s division.

Cris Cyborg Cris Cyborg is yet to be tested in her UFC career. In this picture, UFC Featherweight Champion Cyborg attends a press conference at the Hilton Hotel in Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 15, 2017. Photo: Buda Mendes/Getty Images