Sergei Kharitonov looks to claim the Bellator heavyweight championship and then exact some sweet, sweet revenge on Javy Ayala.
Kharitonov (28-6-0-2) looks to settle things with Matt Mitrione (13-6-0-1) at Bellator 225 on Saturday, Aug. 24. The fight with Mitrione serves as a rematch from their bout in Feb. that ended via accidental groin strike 15-seconds into the fight. “It was very painful. To stand on their feet, managed only an hour after the fight stopped. The pain went away only after a few weeks,” Kharitonov told Bloody Elbow about the fight-ending groin strike. “I just could not get on my feet, I had a pain shock.”
Kharitonov has been a dominant force outside of the UFC for years. A win over Mitrione, plus a crushing first-round knockout of ‘Mr. Chin’ Roy Nelson, could set Kharitonov up for the winner of Ryan Bader vs. Cheick Kongo. That is the immediate goal on the Russian’s mind, but not the only one. Kharitonov’s only loss in the last eight years is to fellow Bellator heavyweight Ayala.
“Revenge with Ayala is interesting to me, but I prefer to look ahead, rather than look back and remember the past,” he said. “Therefore, it’s more important for me to fight for the belt with the champion of the Bellator organization.”
Speaking of Ayala, Bellator 225’s co-main event boasts a heavyweight clash between Vitaly Minakov (21-1) and Ayala (11-7). The event in Bridgeport, CT takes place this Saturday on the Paramount Network, and DAZN. And will be headlined by the Mitrione vs. Kharitonov rematch. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and notes as the event approaches.