MMA debut secured by Artem Vakhitov, the sole fighter to defeat Alex Pereira in kickboxing

According to MMA Fighting, Artem Vakhitov will make his official transition to MMA in June. The two-time GLORY light heavyweight champion and the last person to defeat former UFC champion Alex Pereira in kickboxing will step into the cage to battle Ashraf Bashandy in a 205-pound contest. This event will be the headline match for Open FC 31, taking place in Shergesh, Russia on June 11th.

Vakhitov boasts an impressive kickboxing record, with 23 wins, including eight knockouts, and only six losses. From 2016 to 2019, he defended the GLORY title five times before losing to Pereira in 2021 in a split decision. Eight months later, Vakhitov reclaimed the title, defeating Pereira with a majority decision and sending the Brazilian into the UFC with a loss.

Vakhitov then parted ways with GLORY, becoming a free agent in mid-2022. Although he had his sights set on making his MMA debut under the UFC or PFL banners, Vakhitov will take on Bashandy for his initial foray in the sport on home turf.

On the other hand, Bashandy is making his professional MMA debut following his participation in five amateur MMA fights, with four wins and one loss. He also has three submission victories under his belt.


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