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Sergei Kharitonov is coming off one of his most crucial career victories, knocking out Roy Nelson in the first round. Undefeated in his last six outings, Kharitonov will next face a man who is eager to bounce back from his first Bellator MMA loss in Matt Mitrione.
Mitrione has a victory over Fedor Emelianenko and would want nothing but a repeat on another Russian great. Their scuffle with headline Bellator 215, which will take place in Uncasville, Connecticut, on Feb. 15. Let these numbers show you why Kharitonov is such a force in the heavyweight division.
38: Years of age. Kharitonov was born on Aug. 18, 1980 to sports-minded parents who fully supported his athletic endeavors as well as his dreams of joining the Airborne troops academy. After graduation, he enlisted in the Russian Airborne Troops and remained in active duty when he was still training with Russian Top Team.
5: Wins without a loss before getting signed by Pride Fighting Championships. He joined and won two heavyweight tournaments, Brilliant 2: Yalta's Brilliant 2000 in Ukraine and Tournament of Real Men 8 in Russia. Kharitonov stopped all of his opponents, with the fastest at 0:47 and the longest at 3:11. Impressed by his quick finishes, Pride added him into their fold.
2: Wins in the Pride 2004 Heavyweight Grand Prix. He stopped Murilo Rua in the opening round and wrecked Semmy Schilt in the quarterfinals before bowing to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in the semifinals. After that loss, he scored four consecutive victories at the expense of Choi Mu-Bae, Pedro Rizzo, Peter Mulder and Fabricio Werdum.
1: Back-to-back losses in his career, and it happened at Pride against Alistair Overeem and Alexander Emelianenko. His other setbacks were dealt by Nogueira, Jeff Monson, Josh Barnett and Javy Ayala.
16: Wins by KO or TKO. Kharitonov is a feared striker with dynamite in his hands. His most prominent victims include Rizzo, Andrei Arlovski and Nelson. He also avenged his loss to Overeem at PRIDE 31: Dreamers with a vicious knockout at K-1 HERO’s tournament finals.
43: Significant strikes is his biggest striking output in Pride, and he did it against Werdum at PRIDE 30: Fully Loaded and against Rua at PRIDE Total Elimination 2004. As aforementioned, he emerged victorious in both fights.
10: Wins by submission. Kharitonov’s extensive background in sambo has served him well in MMA. His list of victims include Geronimo dos Santos, John Delgado, Jimmy Ambriz (punches), Mike Russow, Peter Mulder, Cory Peterson, Jason Suttie, David Shvelidze, Osmanli Vagabov and Zamir Syrgabayev (punches).
34: Seconds is his fastest submission finish to date. It happened at MMA: Russian Open Championship where he submitted Delgado by Americana.
23: First-round finishes. Thanks to his heavy hands, slick submissions and killer instinct, Kharitonov has finished fights early on multiple occasions. Incidentally, five of his six career defeats also ended in round 1.
6: Countries in which he has fought in. Apart from Ukraine and Russia, he has also exhibited his skills in Japan, China, Kazakhstan and the United States.