Dream 8 Breakdown

Kharitonov vs. Monson

By Tim Leidecker Apr 3, 2009
Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

The Russian will win
a unanimous decision.
Sergei Kharitonov vs. Jeff Monson

The Storyline: Monson (28-8) was originally scheduled to face Kharitonov’s countryman, Ibragim Magomedov, in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Feb. 28. Following some naughtiness involving spray cans and the Washington State Capitol building in November, “The Snowman” was denied the right to leave the United States in time for the bout. Monson has now jumped ship from Sengoku to Dream to take on former Pride standout Kharitonov (16-3).

The Breakdown: Russian paratrooper and military Sambo stylist Kharitonov peaked early in his career, cutting a swath through an illustrious Pride heavyweight division and reaching the semi-finals of its star-studded heavyweight grand prix in 2004. What followed was a seemingly endless flood of injuries, which led to back-to-back defeats in 2006 and saw his stock plummet. Monson struggled with his form in 2007 but appears to be back in much better shape following four straight wins.

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The Prediction: The Kharitonov of old was certainly strong enough to finish a tough and durable fighter like Monson, but due to his history of injuries, a questionable training regimen and long breaks between fights, a knockout appears iffy. Still, expect the Russian to win a unanimous decision.
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