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Debate

Is Alex Pereira playing dirty to keep Artem Vakhitov from getting his deserved shot?

If you thought Alex Pereira was invincible, think again, because Artem Vakhitov doesn’t think so. Pereira might have beaten Jiri Prochazka in UFC 303 but the last time he faced Vakhitov, he hadn’t emerged victorious. The new combat star has challenged ‘Poatan’ again and sent a message about their ‘unfinished business’ that he wants to settle inside the UFC octagon. The duo is tied 1-1 in kickboxing and the Russian sees a weakness in Pereira that his other opponents have not played on.

Former UFC middleweight champion, Michael Bisping has also addressed the issue. He reckons Vakhitov might write a new history.

Michael Bisping declared Artem Vakhitov as the new possible UFC star

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In a recent YouTube video, Bisping spoke about the kickboxing between ‘Poatan’ and Vakhitov. The duo already share a compelling history. The first encounter had ‘Poatan’ win the split decision in kickboxing and claim the two-division championship in 2021.

Bisping thinks Pereira is adding “fuel to the fire” by responding to Vakhitov. “He is putting his name Artem Vakhitov if I’m even saying that correctly on the radar. He is talking about him on Twitter. He is responding. He is adding fuel to the fire simple as that,” the 45-year-old explained.

The former champ also mentioned that Vakhitov needs to improve his skill set and work on his build, and takedown defense. “All he’s got to do is number one he’s got to work on his skillset. He is a three mixed martial arts fighter. Get two or three more wins, this man will be on the contender series. Get avail on the contender series and he is on the UFC.” Bisping added.

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So with only three more fights, Vakhitov can enter UFC and fight Pereira for the light heavyweight belt. This could be a blockbuster fight. Meanwhile, Vakhitov has pointed out Pereira’s weakness.

Vakhitov spills the beans on how he can beat Pereira

Former Glory light heavyweight champ Artem Vakhitov fought Alex Pereira in Glory 77 in Jan 2021. Pereira won the fight in a split decision. They were also booked for the Glory 78 match which the Russian won via majority decision.

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Vakhitov has followed Pereira’s journey in MMA for a long time and even spoke about his biggest weakness that can help him beat ‘Poatan.’ He answered in an interview that Pereira’s lack of defense was his biggest weakness. “[Alex’s] 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.”

The 33-year-old also speculated that  Sean StricklandJiri Prochazka, and Jamahal Hill could not beat Pereira because their striking skills were not up to the mark. Vakhitov knows the stakes are high, but do you think he will get the trilogy match that he wants?