Bellator 225: Mitrione and Kharitonov look to Earn Title Shot
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Saturday, August 24, 2019
Bellator brings heavy hitting heavyweight clashes to Bridgeport, Connecticut tonight, with a main event between two men that are looking to get one step closer to a title shot in a division filled with many familiar names.
Matt Mitrione and Sergei Kharitonov last fought in February however, the fight was stopped after 15-seconds because Kharitonov was unable to continue following a kick to the groin by Mitrione, which resulted in the fight being a no contest and rescheduled for tonight’s Bellator 225 card.
Both fighters have had great careers and with the exception of their previous encounter, both have done well inside the Bellator cage. Kharitonov is 3-1 in Bellator however, he hasn’t lost since 2016, where he was defeated by Javy Ayala. Aside from two no-contests, Kharitonov has been victorious in five straight fights including a big knockout win over former Ultimate Fighter winner Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson.
Matt Mitrione on the other hand, is 4-1 in Bellator and has arguably fought tougher competition than his opponent. In his 5-fights in Bellator thus far, Mitrione had defeated experienced heavyweight Oli Thompson, Fedor Emelianenko, who is one of the greatest heavyweight fighters of all-time, and avenged his loss to Roy Nelson.
Mitrione’s last defeat came this past October, when he was defeated by Bellator Light-Heavyweight Champion Ryan Bader in the semi-finals of the Heavyweight Grand Prix, which was a tournament he would then go on to win after knocking out Fedor Emelianenko in the finals.
A win for both fighters could put them next in line for a title shot against the winner of the Bellator Heavyweight Championship bout between Ryan Bader and Cheick Kongo, which takes place at Bellator 226 on September 7th.
The co-main event also features a heavyweight bout between former Bellator Heavyweight Champion Vitally Minakov and Javy Ayala. Minakov will be looking to rebound from his loss to Kongo, which is the only loss of his career, so it’ll be interesting to see how he performs.
Depending on how the fights play out, the winners of both fights may be matched up with each other or one of the two may receive the next title shot. Bellator have plenty of options as it pertains to their heavyweight division, which is a positive sign for the promotion as it provides them with plenty recognizable names who could step in and headline future events on Paramount Network and DAZN
Photo Credit: Bellator MMA