Bellator 207’s Sergei Kharitonov would like to be more active in Bellator MMA, but for the time being will continue to compete with M-1 as well.
Uncasville, CT — Sergei Kharitonov (28–6 (1)) did the improbable at Bellator 207 when he knocked out Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson at the end of the first round of their co-main event tilt. Nelson, known for his granite chin, had been knocked out just twice before in his long career. And so with the win Kharitonov joined a small but illustrious club: Mark Hunt and Andrei Arlovski.
The fight was marred, however, by a number of early illegal knees on Nelson, who was clearly a downed opponent. Nelson was down for a while, but refused to quit, and that’s something Kharitonov was thankful for after the fight, speaking via translator. “Thank you Roy Nelson,” was the simple message.
The illegal knees led to a point being deducted from Kharitonov, not that it mattered in the end. Kharitonov later explained that he “didn’t see that Roy was on the ground,” in fact from his angle he didn’t really “see anything.”
“I didn’t see a knockout in the first round,” Kharitonov said when asked about stopping Roy Nelson. “I didn’t think about a knockout in the first round. I thought about the second round.”
Asked by Cageside Press if fans would be seeing more of him in Bellator, given he’d been out of the promotion over a year and fighting in Russia in M-1, Kharitonov was hopeful. “Bellator gave me just two fights,” the Russian heavyweight said (Nelson marked his third with the promotion). “I want to fight more, but Bellator just gave me this fight right now this year. So I will make a fight with M-1.”
Hopefully Bellator can find a way to make use of Kharitonov more often. He’s now 5-0 (1NC) in his last six outings, with stoppages in four of his five wins.