Sergei Kharitonov Out to Earn Attention the Hard Way

By Mike Chiappetta

Of all the fighters in the Strikeforce Heayweight Grand Prix field, none might be more unfamiliar to American audiences than Sergei Kharitonov, a Russian airborne trooper who has fought just once in the U.S., a victory over Mike Russow in the penultimate event for the PRIDE promotion.

Kharitonov, though, boasts a long and fairly distinguished record dating back more than a decade. In fact, he has wins over tournament entrants Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum on his resume. Among the eight-man field, however, he is considered a long shot to win, with the second longest odds, ahead of only Brett Rogers.

To Kharitonov (17-4), who faces Andrei Arlovski in a first-round match on Saturday, that’s perfectly acceptable, even preferable.


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