Though Sergei Kharitonov struck an unexpected deal with Bellator several months ago, it will not limit him from competing in his home country for various other promotions or sports.
Accoring to Kharitonov, the Bellator deal was particularly appealing because it offered far fewer restrictions than the UFC contract. However, despite Bellator referring to his deal as exclusive in their press release, Kharitonov confirmed he was free to compete elsewhere.
“Journalists wrote that the contract with Bellator was exclusive,:” Kharitonov told Tass.ru. “Actually it is not so. I signed a contract with them rather than the UFC, because I can fight in other organizations.”
Kharitonov is a veteran of promotions such as PRIDE Fighting Championships, DREAM and Strikeforce, where he holds wins over the likes of current UFC champion Fabricio Werdum, as well as Andrei Arlovski, Alistar Overeem and Pedro Rizzo. He is currently on a four-fight win streak dating back three years. His last loss took place under the Strikeforce banner against Josh Barnett in the heavyweight Grand Prix semi-final in 2011. His most recent win took place in 2014 in the form of a quick TKO win against Kenny Garner.
Though open to compete wherever he may please, Kharitonov is interested in the Bellator heavyweight title. He will begin that journey on May 14, which is his scheduled debut date.
“In the coming days, my opponent will be decided. The bout is scheduled for May 14. Until then, I refused to serve in Bellator, because my friend and colleague Alexander Volkov was there Now he fights in the M-1. My goal is to become a champion in the organization.”
Kharitonov also added that he is interested in a match-up against Fedor Emelianenko or Vitaly Minakov.
“I would be pleased to accept either challenge. They are excellent fighters. I would be honored to face these fighters in the ring.”
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