Bellator 234 Main Event Set in Kharitonov vs. Vassell, Gozalis, Vanderford, Huerta All Feature

Sergei Kharitonov Bellator MMA
Sergei Kharitonov, Bellator 225 Credit: Bellator MMA

Bellator MMA will return to Tel Aviv, Israel for Bellator 234, bringing with it a heavyweight main event of Sergei Kharitonov vs. Linton Vassell.

It’s been barely a week since Sergei Kharitonov knocked out Matt Mitrione in the main event of Bellator 225, and he already has his next assignment. On Monday, Bellator’s Haim Gozali posted news on his official Instagram account that he’d be taking part in Bellator 234 in Tel Aviv, Israel. That post included the poster for the event, and it’s quite an impressive line-up.

In the Bellator 234 main event, Kharitonov will meet Linton Vassell, a former light heavyweight title challenger. Kharitonov (29–6 (2)), a former PRIDE and Strikeforce vet, pulled off the first round win against Mitrione after the pair’s first meeting ended in a no contest due to a low blow that floored the Russian. Prior to that, he had become one of the few men to have stopped Roy Nelson, joining Andrei Arlovski and Mark Hunt in that exclusive club.

Vassell (18–8 (1)) recently exited the 205lb weight class and returned to heavyweight, where he fought earlier in his career. That came after a failed title bid against Ryan Bader, and a subsequent loss to ex-champ Phil Davis. However, Vassell also came up short against Valentin Moldavsky in his return to the division, putting him on an 0-3 run.

Also on the Bellator 234 card, Roger Huerta meets Sidney Outlaw. Huerta (24–11–1 (1)) has struggled ever since parting ways with the UFC. While he does hold a win under the Bellator MMA banner, that came way back at Bellator 13, in his first run with the promotion. Outlaw (13-3), meanwhile, will enter his inaugural Bellator bout off an eight-fight win streak, including a win on the Contender Series a couple of years back.

In women’s featherweight action, recent title challenger Olga Rubin (6-1) will take on Ireland’s Sinead Kavanagh (5-4). Rubin is coming off a title fight loss to champ Julia Budd.

Also on the card will be Haim Gozali (11-6) and son Aviv Gozali (3-0). Aviv picked up a stunning heel hook victory at Bellator 225, the fastest in the promotion’s history. The elder Gozali, who has been competing since 1998, has won three straight.

Austin Vanderford (8-0) will also return following an impressive performance at Bellator 225 that saw him force a doctor’s stoppage of Joseph Creer. Opponents for the Gozalis and Vanderford have yet to be announced.

Bellator 234 takes place November 14 at the Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv, Israel.