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Alex Pereira Responds to Former Kickboxing Foe Artem Vakhitov’s Callout



Alex Pereira recently shut down a callout from Artem Vakhitov, who was the last man to beat him in kickboxing.

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Pereira defeated Vakhitov via split decision in their first encounter at Glory 77 in January 202, to win the light heavyweight title. Vakhitov exacted revenge in their rematch later that year, defeating Pereira via majority decision to win back the title at Glory 78.

Pereira had finalized his Ultimate Fighting Championship signing a day before that fight, marking the end of his kickboxing career. “Poatan” has gone on to become a two-division champ, earning four victories in title bouts within less than three years in the promotion.

Meanwhile, Vakhitov competed in one muay thai bout after his win over Pereira before switching to MMA, where he is currently 2-1. Vakhitov is motivated by the idea of a potential trilogy clash against Pereira in MMA.

The Russian believes Pereira has room for improvement in his striking defense which was exposed in the Brazilian’s lone UFC loss against Israel Adesanya last year. According to Vakhitov, not only were Pereira’s fallen opponents lesser skilled than him, they but were also mentally defeated even before the fight began.

“MMA was always interesting for me anyway, but obviously I am very motivated by the prospect of getting that trilogy match with Pereira… His biggest weakness is that he is all attack, he has no defense,” Vakhitov told MMAFighting.com. “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.”

Pereira issued a warning via Instagram in response to Vakhitov’s comments. The Brazilian argued that his loss against Vakhitov was unfairly dealt to him because he was leaving the promotion. Pereira then hinted that whoever influenced Vakhitov’s recent comments had given “Poatan” similar advice, which he ignored. Pereira further advised the Russian to sign with his manager, Jorge Guimaraes.

“Hey brother, be careful with the people that are giving you this idea,” Pereira said. “The same person that is advising you that has tried the same to me and I didn't do because I'm not stupid. Everybody knows that when they gave you the win it's because Glory knew that that would be my last fight in the organization and they didn't want me to leave with the belt! For you to expose yourself like this, it seems that you're a bit lost and almost certainly don't have a manager. That's what I think. You should send a message to Joinha [Jorge Guimaraes] because I think he can help you. Chama.”
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