Artem Vakhitov Looking for Trilogy with Alex Pereira in the UFC

Alex Pereira may soon have to face an old rival in Artem Vakhitov. The two strikers are highly familiar with each other’s game as they have traded the GLORY Kickboxing light heavyweight title back and forth. Soon, Russia’s Vakhitov is looking to enter the UFC.

Alex Pereira and Artem Vakhitov

“Poatan” Alex Pereira entered MMA in pursuit of defeating a kickboxing rival turned UFC champion Israel Adesanya. Now, Vakhitov is doing the exact same. He is no longer a kickboxing world champion instead he competes in MMA full-time with his eyes set on the UFC king Pereira. The Russian is a world-class kickboxer who is now training MMA at the Kill Cliff FC gym.

“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.

With just eight fights in the UFC, the Brazilian striker Pereira has been able to earn the middleweight and light heavyweight titles. Eerily similar to his run in GLORY Kickboxing which saw him become a two-division champion holding the middleweight and light heavyweight titles.


Both Vakhitov and Pereira were seven-time GLORY Kickboxing champions. The two fighters met in two light heavyweight clashes which were incredibly close affairs. Each fighter won one fight by a narrow decision. Soon, they may finish their trilogy with a UFC title on the line.

The Russian-born Vakhitov knows that “Poatan” entered the UFC at 3-1 in MMA and is looking to do the same, as he is currently at 2-1 in MMA. The striker is also in talks with the UFC to potentially work with the organization through Dana White’s Contender Series.

“We have talked with the UFC already and they are interested in me going into Dana White’s Contender Series, but Alex entered the UFC directly with a 3-1 record so I think it should be possible for me to do the same, in which case I would need just one more victory.”

In an interview, Vakhitov explained how he sees Pereira in MMA. He said:

“His biggest weakness is that he is all attack, he has no defense. Because of this, 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.

“We are 1-1 against each other so the next fight will be the trilogy fight and I think that will be a big fight for fans all over the world. We are both top-level strikers, we are throwing punches, knees and kicks constantly. Watch our two fights in GLORY Kickboxing and then imagine we are in the UFC Octagon with small gloves on.

“Alex and I know each other well, his team and my team are in good relations and we message each other sometimes, so I am always wishing victory for him when he fights. But when it is my turn to share the Octagon with him, it will be time to demonstrate finally who is the best striker. All questions will be answered on that day.”