Sounds like Sergei Kharitonov has more to lose than just the fight on Sept. 10.
That's when the Russian paratrooper will strap on the gloves and face Josh Barnett in the semifinals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, which airs live on Showtime from the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The promotion today (Aug. 30, 2011) assembled a handful of stars for a media conference call to discuss the upcoming tournament, which is expected to name the division's new number one title contender.
Barnett was hoping the grand prix would crown a new king, but nevertheless recognizes he still has a job to do before he can "raid* the dead for all their belongings."
"The Warmaster" explains:
"Titles and things like that are the spoils of war. You have to go out and win battles before you raid the dead of all their belongings. Honestly I would love it if the finals of this tournament were for the heavyweight title. It would be a nice punctuation mark at the end of it and that doesn't change getting my job done. I have to go out there and beat my opponent otherwise you walk home with a black eye and wounded pride."
Barnett punched his ticket into the second round of the tournament by tapping out tire-changing Tyrannosaur Brett Rogers back in June.
A win over Kharit-top puts him in line to face the winner of Antonio Silva vs. Daniel Cormier, who will also throw down on Sept. 10 in "The Queen City."
And the winner of that? Well, that remains to be seen now that Alistair Overeem has left the building.