Despite the fact that Sergei Kharitonov and Fedor Emelianenko threw hands at the same time in PRIDE Fighting Championships, as well as the Strikeforce mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, they never had the opportunity to compete against one another.
Kharitonov did, however, lose by knockout to Aleksander Emelianenko.
That could change now that both fighters are once again housed under the same banner, courtesy of Scott Coker and Bellator MMA. But Emelianenko is going to need a few more wins before he can earn a shot against Kharitonov.
“Right now, with him coming off a loss, no,” Kharitonov told MMA Fighting about a potential Fedor fight. “But if he continues to fight and gets a few wins, and that’s what Bellator wants and the fans want, sure, why not?”
Emelianenko (38-6, 1 NC) is coming off a knockout loss to Ryan Bader at the Bellator 214 event back in January. Despite coming into the contest on a pair of first-round wins, the “Darth” defeat prompted chatter about “The Last Emperor’s” inevitable retirement.
“Mirko is 44 and he’s about to fight Roy Nelson,” Kharitonov said. “Fedor’s only 42. He has at least two or three years left in him. Two years ago I lost in 16 seconds. That’s what everybody said, ‘Oh you should retire, you should go away.’ But I’m on a five-fight win streak and fighting Matt Mitrione. Fighters are respected not for losing or getting knocked out, it’s for how they get up and continue to go.”
Kharitonov (28-6, 1 NC) has the opportunity to win his sixth straight fight when he battles heavyweight veteran Matt Mitrione at the Bellator 215 event later tonight on Paramount Network (more on that fight here).