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Sergei Kharitonov has been throwing hands with the world’s best for more than a decade and a half in a career that has taken him from Russia to Japan to the U.S.
Now set for action in the main event at Bellator 234 in Tel Aviv, Israel, “The Paratrooper” looks to continue his winning run with victory over two-time former light heavyweight title challenger Linton Vassell.
Ahead of his main event clash with the Brit, we take a look back at six of the key fights that helped define the career of one of MMA’s longest-serving heavyweight stalwarts.
Semmy Schilt at PRIDE Critical Countdown – June 20, 2004
Arguably the performance that first put Kharitonov on the map came more than 15 years ago, back in the summer of 2004, when he finished 7-foot-tall Dutch kickboxing legend Semmy Schilt in the first round of their matchup in Japan.
Kharitonov headed into the bout known as a boxer and kickboxer, but he leaned on his ground skills to take decorated kickboxing superstar Schilt off his feet and mount the big Dutchman.
Once on top, Kharitonov methodically proceeded to smash Schilt with heavy-duty ground and pound to eliminate one of the pre-tournament favorites from the lineup and announce himself as a threat to PRIDE’s most dangerous men at heavyweight.
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