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has racked up five wins since losing to Javy Ayala
Bellator 163. That remains the only blemish in his Bellator
career. Now getting some recognition on American soil, he
is set to figure in a rematch with Matt
. Here are five things you might not know about the
talented heavyweight from Russia.
1. He has wins over high-level opponents.
Fans who only watch the
Ultimate Fighting Championship
perhaps have no idea who
Kharitonov is, which is a shame, given the quality of opposition he
has faced and defeated. Some will probably be surprised to know
that the Russian owns victories over the likes of Roy Nelson
. He may not have been in the Octagon, but he has sure
faced quality opposition in promotions like
Pride Fighting Championships
and is in fact regarded as one of the best heavyweights outside of
2. He was close to fighting Daniel
In 2011, Kharitonov entered the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand-Prix,
joining a field of talented heavyweights that included Fedor
, Overeem, Werdum, Arlovski, Josh Barnett
. Kharitonov easily moved past the opening round by
disposing of Arlovski via first-round knockout. In the semifinals,
however, he lost to Barnett by submission. Had he won over Barnett,
Kharitonov would have faced the winner of the semifinal matchup
between Silva and Cormier, which turned out to be the latter, who
was also the eventual victor.
3. He fought Anderson Silva twice.
Yes, Kharitonov has faced Anderson Silva twice. Not the mixed
martial arts legend, but the kickboxing powerhouse, who now fights
. Kharitonov first fought the Brazilian in the
semifinals of Glory’s heavyweight contender tournament. The Russian
lost by unanimous decision, but bounced back big time when they
rematched at W5 Grand Prix. The fight ended by second-round TKO,
with Kharitonov getting his hand raised. His overall kickboxing
record stands at 7-4. He notably holds victories over legends
and Mighty Mo.
4. He plays the accordion well.
Kharitonov plays the accordion and he does it very well. In fact,
he graduated in high school with a specialization in music, and the
accordion was his weapon of choice. For college, however, he
decided to attend the Airborne Troops Academy in Ryazan, Russia,
and enlisted himself in the Russian Airborne Troops after
5. He comes from a family of athletes.
Kharitonov was heavily influenced by his parents to engage in
sports. His mother was a volleyball coach while his father was into
boxing, skating and football. As a result, he was physically active
growing up. Kharitonov got into sambo, wresting, boxing and muay
Thai, and later transitioned into MMA. He also likes to go fishing
and water skiing.