5 Things You Might Not Know About Sergei Kharitonov

By: Guy Portman
Oct 10, 2018

Sergei Kharitonov is a multi-discipline combat sport veteran, who has competed in Pride Fighting Championships, M-1 Global, Strikeforce, K-1 and Bellator MMA. For his next outing, Kharitonov will face Roy Nelson at Bellator 207 on Oct. 12 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

As fight day approaches, here are five things that you might not know about the Russian heavyweight and Golden Glory team representative:

1. He was a successful amateur boxer.

Kharitonov (27-6, 1 N/C) began his amateur boxing career back in 2000. He attempted to qualify for the Russian Olympic team, but his plans were derailed when he was injured in the semi-final qualifying round. In the 2003 Central Asian Games, Kharitonov changed allegiances and represented Tajikistan in a silver medal winning effort. His impressive performance earned him qualification for the following year’s Olympics in Athens, but he opted against participation in favour of competing in the Pride 2004 Heavyweight Grand Prix. Kharitonov’s accolades in amateur boxing include silver medals at the 2004 Asian Championships and the 2007 Russian Championships.

2. He has served in the army.

Having graduated from high school, the young Kharitonov successfully completed his basic training at the Airborne Troops Academy in Ryazan, Russia. After which he signed up with the Russian Airborne Troops. Kharitonov, who remains on active duty to this day, combines his combat training with his military duties. Back when he competed for Pride Fighting Championships, “The Russian Paratrooper” would frequently wear his military fatigues and signature blue beret for his walkouts. The 38 year-old has stated in interviews that the psychological skills he developed during his lengthy career as an active paratrooper have helped him in the cage and ring.

3. He has competed in kickboxing.

In addition to MMA and amateur boxing, Kharitonov has also competed in professional kickboxing competitions. His record stands at 7-4, with 5 (71 percent) of those victories coming by way of KO/TKO. His first appearance was in 2009, a KO loss at the K-1 World Grand Prix Final. Kharitonov’s last kickboxing rules bout was in May of this year; a second round TKO win over Romanian Frederic Sinistra in Moscow.

4. He has put on a lot of size over the years.

Back in 2003, when Kharitonov first competed under the Pride Fighting Championship banner, the 6-foot-4 pugilist was a slender heavyweight who weighed in at around the 220-pound mark. Some in the industry suggested at the time that he might be better suited down shifting to the weight division below. However, over the years, the Russian has put on considerable bulk. Today, Kharitonov walks around at about 280 pounds.

5. He is much travelled.

Kharitonov’s lengthy combat career has taken him to Japan, the United States, Ukraine, China, South Korea and Kazakhstan. And it is not just fight appearances that have led the native of Plesetsk, Russia, to other locations. From 2002-07, Kharitonov spent much of his time training in the east of his country with Russia Top Team, in the city of Barnaul. He also had a stint with the famed Baku Fires boxing team, in neighbouring Azerbaijan. Today, Kharitonov spends much of the year in Holland’s capital, Amsterdam, where he trains at the Golden Glory team, whose star-studded roster includes Gokhan Saki and Marloes Coenen.

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