Sergei Kharitonov ended the main event at Bellator 225 with some crushing blows, but not before Matt Mitrione struggled to hang on to his mouthpiece, losing it no less than four times during the fight.
This time, there would be no low blow ending the fight early. Matt Mitrione and Sergei Kharitonov finally got to throw down, properly, at Bellator 225. Their first meeting, back in February, ended when ‘Meathead’ landed a kick low on the Russian. Kharitonov collapsed, and never made it back to his feet.
The rematch, mercifully, would go longer. Neither man had fought since that night, and with the first fight ending in a No Contest, Mitrione vs. Kharitonov 2 was a true do-over.
In the cage Saturday, Matt Mitrone landed a punch early, then a kick to the midsection, before attacking with the hands again. He’d let loose with more punches and a high kick after, while Kharitonov struggled to find a way in on the longer man. Kharitonov would land a leg kick, connecting with a crack, but Mitrione was far more active in the early going. Combinations, kicks, and even catching his opponent’s kick and dumping him. Kharitonov then found himself backed up to the fence, but powered out. He was going to need to reset, and find a way to push back against Mitrione, who was constantly moving forward.
Momentum would shift later in the round. Mitrione would twice loose his mouthpiece, but more importantly, Kharitonov began landing on him. A third occurrence of his mouthpiece falling out, however, and ref Big Dan warned ‘Meathead’ that he’d loose a point the next time it came out. The pauses to return the lost mouthpiece also prevented the Russian from building on the success he’d just started to achieve as the round wore down.
Round two opened with the pair trading single strikes and kicks. Mitrione added a knee, and an inside leg kick. Kharitonov, however, was able to press forward more in the second. His right hand hit home. His left landed, and Mitrione lost his mouthpiece again. Then, while the ref was scooping it up, Kharitonov landed once more, an uppercut snapping Mitrione’s head back, and added a knee while Mitrione was on his way down. A couple of strikes to the fallen American, and Sergei Kharitonov had the finish!
A strange fight, as it seemed that Mitrione’s mouthpiece was not fitted to him, and he simply couldn’t hang onto it. However, at least this time, we had a proper conclusion to the fight. And stunningly, the win capped a night with a 100% finishing rate, as fourteen of fourteen fights ended in a stoppage. Clearly no one trusts the judges in Connecticut.
Sergei Kharitonov def. Matt Mitrione by TKO, Round 2, 1:24