An exciting matchup between UFC welterweights Michel Pereira and Muslim Salikhov has been set for a yet-to-be-announced UFC Fight Night card on January 15.
MMA Fighting's Guilherme Cruz was the first to report the news of the matchup, confirming it with Pereira's coach Rafael Alejarra. He said the following about what the bout with Salikhov means for Pereira's career going forward.
“This fight is a career-changing moment for Michel,” Alejarra told MMA Fighting. “We’ll take this guy’s spot in the top-15 with a win. Once we’re ranked, we’ll be listened to more in the organization and start to face the top contenders. We can’t get to the top of the division if we don’t fight top competition. Michel knows how important this fight is and he knows when he can or can’t do the things people love to watch. He’ll end up doing it in this fight if he sees an opening, but notice he didn’t do it against Khaos Williams. He fought seriously because that fight was important and that guy was dangerous. I think this is a good fight for him but we have to be careful because this Russian is no fool.”
Pereira is currently on a three-fight winning streak and is coming off of a unanimous decision victory over Niko Price back at UFC 264. Salikhov meanwhile is riding a five-fight winning streak of his own and defeated Francisco Trinaldo via a unanimous decision at UFC Vegas 28 in his last Octagon appearance.