How do these guys stack up?
Arlovski: 32 years old, 6'4"
Kharitonov: 30 years old, 6'4"
What have they done lately?
How did these guys get here?
It's been a long fall for Andrei Arlovski. Once a UFC heavyweight champion, Arlovski lost twice to Tim Sylvia before rattling off a string of wins and climbing back to #2 in the USA TODAY / SB Nation Consensus Rankings before meeting Fedor Emelianenko. Arlovski handled himself well for the first three minutes of the bout, out-quicking Fedor before an ill advised flying knee was countered with a brutal right hand that left the Belarusian unconscious on the ground. Arlovski's comeback fight from that did not go better as Brett Rogers blitzed him, TKO'ing him in 22 seconds. Andrei lost one his last bout against Antonio Silva by decision and enters Saturday's fight on a three fight losing streak.
Sergei Kharitonov was thought of as a future star when he entered PRIDE with four straight wins, including a KO of Murilo Rua and a TKO of Semmy Schilt. Kharitonov also holds wins over Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum. In recent years he has looked a bit slower and only fought one MMA bout per year over the last three years. Since 2009 he fought in three K-1 kickboxing bouts, going 1-2 in the fights.
Why should you care?
This bout could very well mark the end of Andrei Arlovski's relevance in the heavyweight division. Then again, it could also mark the beginning of his resurgence. Kharitonov hits very hard and Arlovski's chin is questionable at best. Still, Andrei has solid hands, a lot of power and the talent to go far in the tournament. This should be an interesting battle.