Heavyweight Legends Clash At Bellator 215

On Friday night at Bellator 215, Matt Mitrione and Sergei Kharitonov look to assert themselves atop Bellator’s burgeoning heavyweight division.

For Kharitonov, he looks to keep the momentum from his last six fights, where the 38-year-old Russian picked up wins against Roy Nelson, Joey Beltran, and Chase Gormley. With the exception of a no-contest in his fight for M-1 Global last year due to an accidental eye poke, Kharitonov has not lost since his Bellator debut against Javy Ayala in 2016.

Speaking with FIGHT SPORTS prior to fight night, Kharitonov was excited to step back inside the Bellator cage for a fourth time in his career against Mitrione, praising the ex-NFL athlete as a “great fighter,” but warning he is ready for whatever the Grand-Prix semi-finalist had to throw at him.

For Mitrione, this is a chance for him to bounce back from his Bellator 207 loss to now Bellator heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader in the Heavyweight Grand Prix semi-finals in October.

“I’m happy it wasn’t another wrestling camp,” the former New York Giant told FIGHT SPORTS on Wednesday. “I’ve been doing a lot of wrestling up at Perdue. I’m happy to get out there and throw them around a little bit.”

Mitrione admits that he will need to be on his toes on Friday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena, as he looks to avoid the concrete hands of Kharitonov. “He’s got great power in the jab, there’s not many people who have that, and can change the entire progression of the fight,” said Mitrione. “I’m gonna do my best to not be at the end of that cinderblock when he throws it.”

“With a win this weekend, I’m happy to have gotten past a legend who’s very dangerous.”

His goals in 2019 for the Bellator heavyweight division is not a shot at the title or a rematch with Roy Nelson (something he told FIGHT SPORTS he’d never entertain), but just to remain undefeated and healthy.

Kharitonov and Mitrione face off in the main event of Bellator 215, airing on the Paramount Network on February 15th at 9pm ET.

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