Strikeforce heavyweight Sergei Kharitonov has tried to stay busy while waiting for his next bout. Kharitonov advanced to the semi-finals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix with a knockout win over Andrei Arlovski back in February, but with the first round still not competed, he has a lot of down time. He did an interview with mixfightnews.ru last week and talked about how he's passing the time by competing in other sports like boxing and wrestling, and covered a few other topics as well. (translation by kickyonuts on the UG).
On the reason for taking K-1 and boxing matches and even considering freestyle wrestling:
Sergei you do 3 different competitions : MMA , K-1 and boxing , do you think it's dangerous ? Do you want to stick to just 1 of those?
I already did, it's MMA, everything else is just an addition to MMA. Right now I am not allowed to fight in MMA in any other organisation, so I have to look for other opportunities to stay busy and move forward, I do K-1 fights and boxing . It's not 100% yet but I might take part in either sambo or grappling competition closer to the very important semifinals bout in HW GP. I might even go to a freestyle wrestling competition if there is an opportunity, it's not even important if I win there or not, more important just to take part in it . I know that I will win my GP bout and I also don't have to be ashamed if I lose in the grappling competition where I have no reputation on the line.
Who does Sergei grapple and spar with?
My main grappling sparring partner is Jon Olav Einemo. Also I train with Denis Stojnic who is here for his fight, I wrestle with him . There are many guys, like 20-30 people to train with.
(I spar with) Saki, Zimmerman, Semmy Schilt, Alistair Overeem and a lot of other people. We go to Thailand and train there and in Holland. We all train together in one gym like I've said , grappling or striking.
He also dicusses his last boxing match back in April, a split-decision loss to a 19 year old Croatian kid named Filip (not Mirko) Hrgovic:
What went wrong in the boxing bout against Mirko Hrgovic?
Nothing went wrong really, I mean if I was in the same shape I was for the Arlovski fight I am sure I would have won, I wasn't fully prepared for the fight , I wanted to compete and not to get rusty . You can't be in your best shape all the time, keep winning every time while fighting monthly. I felt like my fighting shape was getting worse and to keep sharp I came out for the boxing bout. I knew there aren't many big knockout power punchers in the competition, nobody could have hurt my seriously. If I win I win, if not it's not a big deal . It wasn't my main goal to win at all costs, I didn't give it all to try and win. Most importantly was to stay busy , I think I got what I wanted from the bout .
It's unknown when the semi-final round of the GP will begin, but Kharitonov will face the winner of the Brett Rogers vs. Josh Barnett fight at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum on June 18th. In the meantime, it doesn't look like Sergei's sitting around and waiting for Strikeforce.
HT to Anton Gurevich of Lowkick.com for checking the translation