By the Numbers: Sergei Kharitonov vs. Linton Vassell

By: Mark Raymundo
Nov 15, 2019
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Barely three months since his last fight, Sergei Kharitonov is already gearing up for his return to Bellator competition. He will return at Bellator 234 in Tel Aviv opposite Linton Vassell, who lost in his Bellator heavyweight debut to Valentin Moldavsky. Below are some numbers relevant to this encounter between two dangerous heavyweights.

Age, height and arm reach

Born on Aug. 18, 1980, Kharitonov is 39 years old, just three years older than Vassell, who was born on June 3, 1983. They both stand at 6-feet-4-inches tall, but Vassell has a definitive reach advantage at 82 inches compared to Kharitonov’s 76.

Years as a pro

Kharitonov and Vassell are only separated by three years in age, but the former has been in the MMA game for a lot longer. The Russian made his professional debut on Aug. 11, 2000, in an event in Ukraine, where he fought three times in one night. He had his big break when he was signed by Pride in only his sixth fight as a pro. Kharitonov has also fought for other top promotions, such as Dream, M-1 Challenge, Strikeforce and, of course, Bellator. Even before getting the call from Bellator, he’d already fought some high-level opposition like Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Josh Barnett and Andrei Arlovski.

Vassell made his pro debut on Sept. 13, 2008, eight years after Kharitonov’s first professional MMA fight. He captured the heavyweight and light heavyweight titles in three different promotions in England before signing with Bellator, which is currently the organization he calls home.

Bellator experience

After successfully defending his UCMMA light heavyweight belt for the second time, Vassell made the move to Bellator. His first bout was at Bellator 107, where he decisioned Matt Jones. In only his fourth fight in the promotion, Vassell challenged Emanuel Newton for the light heavyweight strap and lost. At Bellator 186, he was given another chance to capture the belt but was denied by Ryan Bader.

Kharitonov didn’t have the most impressive Bellator debut, as he was knocked out in 16 seconds by Javy Ayala. He won his second fight, though, and then he opted to join two different promotions before returning for Bellator 207. Since then, he has not looked back. His overall Bellator record is 3-1 (1 NC).

Stoppage rate

Of Kharitonov’s 29 career victories, only two ended up in a decision. He takes pride in owning 19 knockouts and eight submissions, which makes for an impressive 94 percent stoppage rate. Vassell is quite a finisher himself, with six wins coming by KO or TKO and eight via submission. He boasts a 77 percent finishing rate.

Career losses

Vassell has lost eight times in 26 professional fights, four by KO or TKO, three by decision and one by submission. Apart from Emanuel Newton, he also bowed to Valentin Moldavsky, Phil Davis, Ryan Bader, Muhammed Lawal, Matti Makela, Stav Economou and Shola Adeniran. Meanwhile, Kharitonov has only lost six times in 35 fights as a professional. Other than Ayala, he lost to top-level guys like Alistair Overeem, Aleksander Emelianenko, Josh Barnett, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Jeff Monson. Advertisement

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