Former GLORY Light Heavyweight Champion Artem Vakhitov to Make MMA Debut on June 11 – "We Will Continue Kickboxing if There Are Good Offers"

May 01, 2023
Artem Vakhitov victorious in his rematch against Alex Pereira. Photo: GLORY Kickboxing
Another GLORY kickboxer is making his way into Mixed Martial Arts.

Former GLORY Light Heavyweight Champion Artem Vakhitov has announced his intentions to compete in MMA. Vakhitov is set to make his debut at Open FC 31 on June 11 against debuting Ashraf Bashandy.


"Umar and Usman Nurmagomedov are good examples, when talent and a good platform lead to the highest success on the world stage. But Vakhitov is on another level altogether. Artem has a good team interested in his development, and we have a good platform for the realization of his goals," Open FC president Alexander Guryanov said in a recent interview with METARATINGS

Vakhitov won his most recent fight in Muay Thai Factory after being cut alongside other Russian athletes from kickboxing promotion GLORY. The Russian Light Heavyweight king looked phenomenal, beating Pascal Touré to a wide unanimous decision victory.

Prior to that, Vakhitov beat former GLORY and UFC Middleweight Champion Alex Pereira in an immediate rematch after a widely controversial split decision loss against the Brazilian. In the rematch, the Russian won a majority decision victory, using his tight defence and well timed counters to steal rounds from the power punching Pereira.

Bashandy has an amateur MMA record of 4-1, with three of his wins coming by way of submission and his one loss being a first round knockout.

Beyond Kickboxing has reached out to Artem Vakhitov to ask him for comment on his future, and while he's fully committed to make an impact in his MMA debut for now, he also doesn't rule out a return to kickboxing. "We will continue kickboxing if there are good offers".