The first UFC event in 2022 is stronger by one extremely interesting match in the welterweight category. Namely, on January 15, as part of the event led by Giga Chikadze and Calvin Kattar, Michel "Demolidor" Pereira and Muslim Salikhov will compete.
It is a big match for a spectacular Brazilian because for the first time he will have the opportunity to fight with a ranked fighter. Muslim Salikhov (18-2-0, 5-1 UFC) is a fighter who quietly entered the Top 15, but with five wins in a row, he earned 15th place in the challenger rankings.
The 37-year-old Dagestani lost in his UFC debut to Alex Garcia but has since managed to present his class. In his last two appearances at the moment, he has defeated respectable opponents such as Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos and Francisco Trinaldo.
Michel Pereira (25-11-0, 2 NC) on the other hand, is considered by many to be one of the most spectacular fighters in the world. The Brazilian delights almost every fight with various unconventional moves, but often such things consume him unnecessarily in terms of fitness, and this ultimately leads to unnecessary defeats.
However, after two defeats in a row (by Tristan Connelly and Diego Sanchez), Pereira became quite serious and tied three celebrations. He is a fighter with an impressive physique and good skills, and in the first month of next year, he will face a serious test that will show us if Pereira can do something more serious within the UFC.
Alejarra on the match
By the way, the official confirmation of this match has not yet come from the UFC, but Pereira's coach Rafael Alejarra in an interview for MMA Fighting confirmed that "Demolidor" will fight against Salikhov.
'' This fight is a turning point in Michel's career. With the win, we will take a place in the Top 15 of that type. Once we become ranked, the organization will pay more attention to us and we will start fighting top challengers."
"We cannot reach the top of the category if we do not fight against the best, '' Alejarra said. The Brazilian coach points out that they worked a lot on the fitness segment because Pereira's explosive fighting style requires a lot of energy.
However, much depends on his approach to the fight itself. '' Michel knows how important this fight is and he knows when he can or can't do things that people like to watch. He will do it in this fight if the opportunity arises, but you may notice that he did not do it against Khaos Williams."
"He fought seriously because it was an important fight, and that guy is dangerous. I think this fight (against Salikhov) is good for Michel, but we have to be careful because this Russian is not a fool, '' added coach Rafael Alejarra.