Bellator continued its recent trend of big signing in 2016 when it was announced that Russian striker Sergei Kharitonov signed a multi-fight deal with the promotion.
MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani first reported the news.
Kharitonov is a veteran of promotions such as PRIDE Fighting Championships, DREAM and Strikeforce, where he holds wins over the likes of current UFC champion Fabricio Werdum, as well as Andrei Arlovski, Alistar Overeem and Pedro Rizzo. He is currently on a four-fight win streak dating back three years. His last loss took place under the Strikeforce banner against Josh Barnett in the heavyweight Grand Prix semi-final in 2011. His most recent win took place earlier this month in the form of a quick TKO win against Kenny Garner.
Over the past two years, Kharitonov has fought for M-1 Global, Tech-Krep Fighting Championships and even dabbled in kickboxing for Glory. Given the contractual freedom to fight wherever he pleased, Kharitonov was cautious about signing away that freedom by joining the UFC during that time.
Kharitonov is expected to make his Bellator debut in May.