Sergei Kharitonov may have a Bellator MMA bout on tap for this weekend, but it's not stopping “The Paratrooper” from lining up other bookings.
Long-running Russian organization M-1 Global announced Monday that Kharitonov would return to the promotion on June 15 at M-1 Challenge 80 in Harbin, China, the nation's northernmost major city which is renowned for its historical, cultural and architectural connections to Russia. In his M-1 return, Kharitonov is scheduled to take on Brazilian Marcus Vinicius Lopes.
The 36-year-old Kharitonov is already scheduled for action this Friday, where he takes on Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Chase Gormley at Bellator 175 in Rosemont, Ill.
Kharitonov is coming off of a shocking 16-second knockout loss to Javy Ayala in the Bellator cage last November. Prior to that, Kharitonov had won five in a row, with three of those bouts coming under the M-1 banner. It will be Kharitonov's second bout in China, having stopped Kenny Garner in Beijing at M-1 Challenge 53 in November 2014.
Lopes, 34, has gone 2-1 in his last three bouts, all for M-1 Global. The Minas Gerais native has earned wins over Kurban Ibramigov and Evgeni Myakinkin at heavyweight, but “Montanha's” 205-pound bid against Stephan Puetz last October proved unsuccessful, as he was choked out in the third round.