Pereira Warns Vakhitov Following His Prior Kickboxing Defeat – ‘Be Careful’

July 10, 2024
2 weeks
Pereira Warns Vakhitov Following His Prior Kickboxing Defeat - 'Be Careful'

Alex Pereira has hit back at Artem Vakhitov, the last person to have beaten him in kickboxing. 

They have faced each other twice in GLORY kickboxing title fights. Their record is 1-1. In their first clash in 2021, Pereira won a split decision to become a two-weight undisputed champion. After this period, Alex was in talks to sign with the UFC. However, before he did that, they had a rematch in the same year. Vakhitov got the better of Pereira to beat him via a majority decision. Pereira would then sign with the UFC, making his debut against Andreas Michailidis. The rest was history as Pereira stopped his opponent in the second round. 

The two rivals have since gone in different directions. Pereira went on to win titles at middleweight and light heavyweight, becoming a two-weight champion in the UFC. If he decides to move up to heavyweight, he has also been linked with a fight against Jon Jones and Tom Aspinall. After beating Alex, Vakhitov would have one more fight before moving into MMA. His current record is 2-1, as he targets a third fight with Pereira to settle the rivalry. 

Vakhitov On Pereira

“MMA was always interesting for me anyway, but obviously I am very motivated by the prospect of getting that trilogy match with Pereira. He’s a superstar now and I am happy for him, but when I hear people saying he’s the best striker in the world … well, I think it’s time for MMA fans to learn about me and my team, put it that way,” Vakhitov said

The major weakness that Vakhitov sees is Pereira’s lack of defense. He highlighted the Brazilian’s fight with Israel Adesanya at UFC 287. As he was pushing Izzy back towards the cage, Adesanya threw a massive right hand that knocked out the Brazilian. Pereira would then move up to light heavyweight, showing that he has a potential weakness. It is one thing to say that, but Pereira’s attack is used as a way to keep his opponents on the back foot.

Jiri Prochazka discovered this when they faced Pereira for the second time at UFC 303. After having been stopped in their first UFC 295 clash, Prochazka tried to get into the champion’s head. He accused Pereira of using witchcraft/dark spirits in his fights. Alex ignored the background noise and stayed focused. Near the end of the first round, Pereira dropped his opponent with a jab. As soon as the second round began, Pereira knocked out Prochazka with a kick to the head, followed by some flurries. However, Vakhitov sees a telling weakness. 

Pereira’s Response

“His biggest weakness is that he is all attack, he has no defense,. Because of his lack of defense, he is open to taking a lot of punches to the head if he’s facing a skilled striker. You saw that in his second fight with Adesanya. He got caught because he leaves a lot of openings for people who know what they are doing.

“These other guys haven’t done well against Alex because their striking isn’t at a high enough level. They aren’t confident against him and they think he’s unbeatable, so in their heart they are already defeated before the fight starts. But I have beaten him before in pure striking competition, and I am sure I’ll do it again if we can get our trilogy match in the UFC,” Vakhitov added

Pereira has now responded.

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