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