Sergei Kharitonov poses for the crowd after defeating Andrei Arlovski at Strikeforce: "Fedor vs. Silva," on Feb. 12, 2011. Photo by Esther Lin.
Show him the money!
After a short and mediocre kickboxing career in K-1, Sergei Kharitonov spent most of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career competing overseas in "The Land of the Rising Sun" in PRIDE FC before making his way stateside to tangle with the big boys in Strikeforce.
The Russian heavyweight made a successful debut against Andrei Arlovski at Strikeforce: "Fedor vs. Silva" but was last seen tapping to Josh Barnett at the Strikeforce: "Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinals" on Sept. 10, 2011, eliminating him from the heavyweight tournament.
Soon after announcing the dissolution of the Strikeforce heavyweight division, it was widely considered that all, if not most of the top heavyweights would make a smooth transition in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster.
However, there still is a small matter of coming to a financial agreement
As the former Pride and Strikeforce heavyweight tells Fighters Only, he has no problems fighting inside the Octagon, but only if the money is right.
See for yourself:
"I don't know what the situation is right now. Strikeforce heavyweight [division] is finished very soon I think. Maybe one more fight for me, I don't know. If the UFC contract is for the right money then yes of course it's good, it's no problem. But the problem with UFC, it's exclusive. So no DREAM, no K-1, it means not so many fights and not so much money. For K-1, I am very hopeful, actually I was offered a new contract for K-1. There is some news coming soon."
It's important to note that Fighting and Entertainment Group (FEG), the parent company of K-1, has been reported to be suffering from financial woes lately, as evidenced by the cancellation of this year’s K-1 World Grand Prix.
With "exclusivity" always being a sticking point with fighters and the UFC, would it would be wise for the former Russian Airborne Trooper to take a decent offer from the promotion, considering the options are very slim nowadays and soon the UFC will have all of the top heavyweights in the world under its roster?
DREAM is always an option, of course. Then again, they are owned and operated by FEG as well.
What do you say, Maniacs, can Kharitonov make a name for himself against the big boys of a revamped UFC heavyweight division should he decide to sign on the dotted line?