Vakhitov tells Saki: “You're next!”
Published on Mar 2, 2017
Light-heavyweight champion Artem Vakhitov used his post-fight interview at GLORY 38 CHICAGO to call out former champion Gokhan 'The Rebel' Saki.
Saki has been absent from the ring for three years. He won the title at GLORY 15 ISTANBUL in 2014, breaking Tyrone Spong's leg in the final of a light-heavyweight championship tournament, but then went on hiatus following a contract dispute.
That dispute since resolved, Saki has recently resurfaced and has been calling out heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven and heavyweight icon Remy Bonjasky. But Vakhitov thinks Saki should return to the division he was formerly king of.
“Saki, you're next,” he jibed. “There is a lot of talk on social media and I have been looking for this fight for a long time. Once this fight is set, we can see who is who. If he is not trying to get matched up with me then it just seems like he is running away.”
Vakhitov retained his title at GLORY 38 with a win over Saulo Cavalari. He stopped the Brazilian former champion in the second round by way of repeated knockdowns, at the same time putting himself 2-1 in their series.
“I don't mind another fight [with Cavalari in the future] but I think it is settled between us, everyone saw what happened today,” he said. “The fight went according to plan. In the first round I looked to see what surprises I could present to him and then the second I took control.”
While he waits for Saki to respond to his call-out, Vakhitov already knows who his next opponent will be. Ariel Machado won the Light-Heavyweight Contender Tournament at GLORY 38 and in the process earned a title shot, making it back-to-back Brazilian opponents for the Russian.
“He's a great opponent. Machado proved himself by winning the four man tournament. He is right now the title contender and that is interesting, I'm excited to fight another Brazilian and I am looking forward to another show for the fans,” he said.
“We can do the fight in Brazil if they want, that would be interesting for me. Right now I have some negotiations with GLORY and then we will see what is next.”