Sergei Kharitonov had a rough night under the Bellator MMA banner.
The Pride Fighting Championships veteran took an accidental kick to the groin from Matt Mitrione and could not continue in the Bellator 215 headliner on Friday at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The end came just 15 seconds into Round 1, with Kharitonov (28-6, 2-1 Bellator) writhing on the canvas.
Mitrione (13-6, 4-1 Bellator) fired an inside leg kick that missed the mark and struck the Russian on an upward trajectory. Kharitonov went to his knees and then his back, and it soon became clear that he would not recover from the foul.
In the welterweight co-main event, four-time NCAA All-American Logan Storley cruised to a unanimous decision over Ion Pascu across three rounds at 170 pounds. The undefeated Storley (10-0, 5-0 Bellator) swept the scorecards with 30-27, 30-26 and 30-26 marks from the judges.
It was a frustrating experience for Pascu (18-10, 0-3 Bellator). Storley delivered takedowns in all three rounds, settled in half guard and proceeded to hack away at the SBG Ireland-trained Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with short punches and elbows. By the third round, Pascu seemed resigned to his situation. Storley continued to pepper him with elbow strikes from top position, one of them opening a small cut near the Romanian’s left eye.
Pascu, 36, has lost three of his last four fights.
Meanwhile, two-time Bellator bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas returned from a gruesome leg injury and halted the first two-fight losing streak of his career with a unanimous decision over Toby Misech in a featured attraction at 135 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it for Dantas (21-6, 11-3 Bellator): 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27.
A replacement for the injured Manny Vazquez, Misech (10-6, 1-1 Bellator) was a non-factor. Dantas kept the Hawaiian at a safe distance with kicks to the legs and body, a quick jab and the occasional right cross. The 30-year-old Nova Uniao representative also incorporated takedowns and an active submission game, threatening Misech with a kimura in the first round and a rear-naked choke in the second.
Dantas has won five of his last seven bouts, all by decision.
Elsewhere, Tri-Force MMA export John Douma submitted the previously unbeaten Mike Kimbel with a triangle choke in the first round of their bantamweight showcase. Kimbel (2-1, 2-1 Bellator) conceded defeat 2:51 into Round 1.
Douma (4-1, 1-0 Bellator) surrendered a pair of clinch takedowns but managed to lure his 21-year-old adversary deeper into his web. Kimbel overextended on his ground-and-pound, exposed one of his limbs and soon found himself entangled in the triangle choke. He attempted to slam his way out of the maneuver but only wandered deeper into danger. Douma secured his position, bit down on the choke and prompted the tapout.
All four of Douma’s wins have come by knockout, technical knockout or submission.
Finally, Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series alum Austin Vanderford kept his perfect professional record intact, as he submitted Cody Jones with an arm-triangle choke in the first round of their catchweight feature at 175 pounds. Jones (4-3, 0-1 Bellator) bowed out 4:49 into Round 1.
Vanderford (7-0, 1-0 Bellator) took top control, applied his ground-and-pound and successfully navigated his counterpart’s active guard. He ultimately moved into position for the arm-triangle, tightened the choke with a crushing squeeze and prompted the tapout with just 11 seconds left in the opening stanza.
Operating out of a Gracie Barra affiliate in Portland, Oregon, Vanderford has finished five of his first seven opponents.
In other action, Amanda Bell (6-5, 2-1 Bellator) disposed of Amber Leibrock (3-3, 1-2 Bellator) with punches 3:52 into the first round of their women’s featherweight encounter; Steve Mowry (6-0, 2-0 Bellator) submitted Darion Abbey (0-1, 0-1 Bellator) with a kimura 1:27 into the first round of their heavyweight scrap; Zarrukh Adashev (2-1, 2-0 Bellator) laid claim to a unanimous decision over Ronie Arana Leon (0-2, 0-2 Bellator) in a three-round flyweight tilt, drawing 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 marks from the judges; Pete Rogers Jr. (4-4, 3-2 Bellator) dispatched Jason Rine (0-4, 0-1 Bellator) with elbows and punches 50 seconds into the second round of their confrontation at 145 pounds; Matt Probin (1-0, 1-0 Bellator) eked out a split decision -- 28-29, 29-28, 29-28 -- over Ali Zebian in a three-round featherweight battle; Lindsey VanZandt (4-1, 1-0 Bellator) took care of Tabatha Ann Watkins (1-1, 0-1 Bellator) with punches 3:25 into the second round of their women’s atomweight pairing; Pat McCrohan (4-2, 1-0 Bellator) put away Jason Markland (0-1, 0-1 Bellator) with punches 1:11 into the first round of their middleweight affair; and Billy Goff (1-0, 1-0 Bellator) captured a unanimous decision over Ryan Hardy Evans (0-1, 0-1 Bellator) in a three-round welterweight clash, earning 29-28 scores from all three judges.