Alex Pereira hits back at former rival Artem Vakhitov’s comments about his striking: “Be careful”

By Curtis Calhoun - July 8, 2024

UFC light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira didn’t take long to address his former Glory Kickboxing opponent Artem Vakhitov’s recent remarks.

Alex Pereira, Artem Vakhitov

Pereira made the most of another short-notice opportunity by finishing Jiří Procházka in the UFC 303 main event last month. After Conor McGregor’s withdrawal from the card, Pereira and Procházka stepped up on weeks’ notice to save one of the biggest events of the year.

Amidst Pereira’s rise to superstardom, many have been in awe of his success in MMA. In just a handful of fights, Pereira has cemented himself as an all-time great, and one of the UFC’s pound-for-pound best.

Before making the move to MMA, Pereira made a name for himself in kickboxing. One of his biggest rivals during that timeframe was Vakhitov, who handed Pereira a majority decision loss in 2021 in his Glory Kickboxing finale.

Vakhitov has Pereira in his sights and thinks he’s the one to knock Pereira off his throne.

In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, Vakhitov gave his analysis of Pereira’s unprecedented success in MMA.

“His biggest weakness is that he is all attack, he has no defense,” Vakhitov said of Pereira. “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.”

Alex Pereira shuts down Artem Vakhitov’s striking criticism

In a recent Instagram comment, Pereira responded to Vakhitov’s remarks.

“Hey brother, be careful with the people that are giving you this idea,” Pereira replied. “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.”

Vakhitov is training in MMA down at Kill Cliff FC in Florida. He’s 2-1 in MMA with back-to-back knockouts in 2024.

Pereira is expected to defend his light heavyweight title against Magomed Ankalaev later this year, although the fight hasn’t been booked as of this writing.

Pereira vs. Vakhitov 3 could potentially come to fruition. If that’s the case, Vakhitov knows how to crack Pereira’s code, although Pereira will intend to shut down his former rival.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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