Sergei Kharitonov handed Roy Nelson his first stoppage loss since 2014 in a wild Bellator 207 co-main event.
Sergei Kharitonov has fought in Russia four times since scoring his first Bellator victory last March, winning three of the four fights. The Russian was feared in PRIDE, going 8-3 and stopping seven of the victories.
Roy Nelson was victorious in his Bellator debut, earning him a spot in the heavyweight grand prix. “Big Country” was upended by Matt Mitrione in the first round of the tournament, losing by majority decision. Nelson ended his UFC run by losing in seven of his last 10 appearances.
Both fighters started punching right away, with Kharitonov landing at a higher rate. Kharitonov pushed Nelson against the fence, but the fighters returned to the center shortly after. Nelson was seeking his right haymaker, then shot for a takedown. Kharitonov landed several knees, then Nelson went to all fours with Nelson still in a headlock. Kharitonov threw another knee while Nelson was still in that position, causing Dan Miragliotta to pause the action.
After a long break and a point deduction, action resumed. Kharitonov was landing jabs at a very high rate, snapping the head of Nelson back each time. Nelson went for another takedown after landing a combination, then all hell broke loose. Both Nelson and Kharitonov were landing hard shot after hard shot.
Kharitonov then had Nelson trapped with his back to the fence, giving the Russian the window he needed to open up. Uppercuts began to land for Kharitonov and Nelson was wearing it. A one-two combination bounced Nelson off the fence, into another uppercut from Kharitonov. Several uppercuts in a row landed for Sergei, with the last keeling Nelson over. Kharitonov landed a knee for good measure, stopping Nelson with one second left in the round.
Sergei Kharitonov def. Roy Nelson by KO (Uppercut and Knee) in Round 1 (4:59)