5 Things You Might Not Know About Sergei Kharitonov

By: Mark Raymundo
Aug 22, 2019

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Sergei Kharitonov has racked up five wins since losing to Javy Ayala at Bellator 163. That remains the only blemish in his Bellator MMA career. Now getting some recognition on American soil, he is set to figure in a rematch with Matt Mitrione at Bellator 225. Here are five things you might not know about the talented heavyweight from Russia.

1. He has wins over high-level opponents.

Fans who only watch the Ultimate Fighting Championship perhaps have no idea who Kharitonov is, which is a shame, given the quality of opposition he has faced and defeated. Some will probably be surprised to know that the Russian owns victories over the likes of Roy Nelson, Andrei Arlovski, Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum. He may not have been in the Octagon, but he has sure faced quality opposition in promotions like Pride Fighting Championships, Dream and Strikeforce, and is in fact regarded as one of the best heavyweights outside of the UFC.

2. He was close to fighting Daniel Cormier.

In 2011, Kharitonov entered the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand-Prix, joining a field of talented heavyweights that included Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Silva, Overeem, Werdum, Arlovski, Josh Barnett, Brett Rogers and Daniel Cormier. Kharitonov easily moved past the opening round by disposing of Arlovski via first-round knockout. In the semifinals, however, he lost to Barnett by submission. Had he won over Barnett, Kharitonov would have faced the winner of the semifinal matchup between Silva and Cormier, which turned out to be the latter, who was also the eventual victor.

3. He fought Anderson Silva twice.

Yes, Kharitonov has faced Anderson Silva twice. Not the mixed martial arts legend, but the kickboxing powerhouse, who now fights at One Championship. Kharitonov first fought the Brazilian in the semifinals of Glory’s heavyweight contender tournament. The Russian lost by unanimous decision, but bounced back big time when they rematched at W5 Grand Prix. The fight ended by second-round TKO, with Kharitonov getting his hand raised. His overall kickboxing record stands at 7-4. He notably holds victories over legends Jerome Le Banner and Mighty Mo.

4. He plays the accordion well.

Kharitonov plays the accordion and he does it very well. In fact, he graduated in high school with a specialization in music, and the accordion was his weapon of choice. For college, however, he decided to attend the Airborne Troops Academy in Ryazan, Russia, and enlisted himself in the Russian Airborne Troops after graduation.

5. He comes from a family of athletes.

Kharitonov was heavily influenced by his parents to engage in sports. His mother was a volleyball coach while his father was into boxing, skating and football. As a result, he was physically active growing up. Kharitonov got into sambo, wresting, boxing and muay Thai, and later transitioned into MMA. He also likes to go fishing and water skiing.

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