Mitrione, Coker Apologize for Bellator 215
It wasn’t the way anyone wanted Bellator 215 to end.
A collision of heavyweight knockout artists Matt Mitrione and Sergei Kharitonov headlined Bellator 215, but the finish was not what was anticipated. Instead of a finish or a classic scrap, Mitrione’s first blow — an attempted body kick — ended up hitting Kharitonov in the groin, causing him to go down in extreme pain.
Despite being given the mandated five-minute recovery period, Kharitonov couldn’t get to his feet, and upon the advice of the cageside physician, the fight was officially declared a No Contest after just 15 seconds.
At the post-fight press conference, Mitrione looked distraught and bummed, apologizing profusely.
“I cannot begin to explain how sorry I am for everybody that paid to come to the fight to watch that fight between Sergei and I,” Mitrione said. “It would’ve been really dope – it would’ve been a great fight. Obviously, it was not intentional – the worst possible situation. Sergei: I’m genuinely sorry. I’m apologetic as I could possibly be.”
Mitrione added he was looking for a way to fight again soon, and if anyone somehow fell off the Bellator 216 card, scheduled to take place tonight, he would be more than willing to set up.
“It just sucks, man,” Mitrione said. “Mr. Coker and I were already talking about some stuff. I have to get in Mr. [Bellator matchmaker Rich] Chou’s ear and see what I can get on. If it’s all booked out, maybe they can bump somebody. I know there’s a card in Chicago [in May], and I live in the Midwest. I’ll bring a gang of people there and we’ll act straight foolish in there if we can get a fight in Chicago.”
According to a Bellator official, Kharitonov was transported to a local medical facility. Both he and Mitrione will be paid their show money.
Coker himself took to Twitter to apologize to the fans for the outcome.
That’s a first for me… sorry everyone.#Bellator215
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) February 16, 2019
Mitrione reiterated sentiments he said in his immediate interview in the cage following the bout — that if Kharitonov wanted to run the fight back, he’d be more than willing.
“If Sergei is down to go, if he can do it, if his body’s good…if he can do it again, then obviously I’m 100 percent down,” Mitrione said. “He’s the only person I really want to fight in this situation because everybody, I think, deserves that. It would’ve been a great fight and a lot of fun. It just sucks, man.”
Original Story: MMAJunkie