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Sergei Kharitonov
Born August 18, 1980 (1980-08-18) (age 29)
Plesetsk, Arkhangelsk Oblast,
Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Other names Paratrooper,
The Russian Mercenary
Nationality Russia Russian
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight 115 kg (250 lb; 18.1 st)
Style Sambo, Boxing, Unifight
Fighting out of Tula, Russia
Team Golden Glory [1]
Kickboxing record
Total 1
Wins 0
Losses 1
By knockout 1
MMA record
Total 20
Wins 16
By knockout 7
By submission 8
Losses 4
Draws 0
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: December 5, 2009

Sergei Kharitonov (Russian: Сергей Харитонов, Sergey Haritonov, Russian pronunciation: [sʲerˈɡʲej xarʲiˈtonəf]) (born August 18, 1980) is a Russian heavyweight mixed martial artist.[2] He has previously fought in Japanese MMA organization PRIDE Fighting Championships, and currently fights for DREAM. He has notable wins over Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem, Murilo Rua, Fabricio Werdum and Pedro Rizzo.



Sergei Kharitonov was born on August 18, 1980 in Arkhangelsk, Russia. His parents were very athletic: Sergei's mother was a volleyball coach, and his father at various times studied boxing, skating, soccer, and long distance marathon running. Under their influence, Sergei was very active physically while growing up.

Kharitonov graduated from a high school with a specialization in music (accordion). Following the advice of his parents as well as his own dreams, Sergei went to the Airborne troops academy in Ryazan, Russia, and enlisting in the Russian Airborne Troops after finishing the academy. Kharitonov credits the army and the academy with giving him psychological skills he relies on during his fights.

Sergei remains on the active duty while training full time with the Russian Top Team. He is married to his wife, Natalia.[3]

Sergei is supposedly having a feud with Fedor Emelianenko after Fedor transferred from Russian Top Team to Red Devil Sport Club, and Kharitonov decided to stay with RTT.

Kharitonov sometimes gets confused with his full namesake Sergey Haritonov, a much less prominent mixed martial arts fighter from Estonia.


Martial arts background and training regimen

Sergei started being interested in sports when he was still in kindergarten, being taught at first by his father. Kharitonov started training boxing seriously when he was ten or eleven years old, following an incident when a drunken adult passer-by broke up a scuffle between Sergei and another boy by lifting Sergei in the air, hitting him in the face and cutting his eyebrow with that punch. The man justified his behavior by saying that Sergei should not have been hitting a grounded opponent.[4]

At the age of sixteen, Kharitonov started studying Combat Sambo. During his studies in the Airborne Troops Academy, Sergei started competing in hand-to-hand combat (simplified form of Combat Sambo) and MMA. After Kharitonov graduated from the Academy, he was contacted by Vladimir Pogodin, the manager of the Russian Top Team, who invited him to join the club. At first, Sergei was invited to be Fedor Emelianenko's sparring partner, who taught him many ground fighting techniques, including striking on the ground and submissions. Sergei kept competing at various Russian MMA competitions, and in October 2003 he debuted in PRIDE Fighting Championships, one of the top two leading MMA organizations in the world at that time.

Sergei trains with the Russian national boxing and Sambo teams, as well as some freestyle wrestlers. He also recently added Muay Thai training to his regimen, and, according to him, he even borrows some elements from karate.[4]

Sergei Kharitonov trained in Kirieevsk, Russia, under coach Mikhail Illoukhine (Russian: Михаил Илюхин). Ilyukhin chose Kirieevsk as their training base due to a large number of heavyweight MMA fighters available there. According to him, key elements of Sergei's success are his willpower and unpredicability in the ring. As of September 2007 he recently began training with the Golden Glory fight team in Holland.

In addition to competing in MMA and boxing, Sergei competes in Combat Sambo for the Ryazan Desantnik (Paratrooper) club.[3]


Sergei started his Amateur Boxing Career in 2000. He tried to get into the Russian Olympic Boxing team but got injured in the semi finals during a live boxing TV event. Instead he competed for Tajikistan in 2003 at the Central Asian Games where he won a silver medal [5]. Kharitonov earned a shot at that year’s Olympics, representing former Tajikistan (the former Soviet republics often have ethnic Russians on their teams) but passed on the chance to instead fight in the Pride 2004 Heavyweight Grand Prix.

He nearly qualified for the Athens Games by winning the silver medal at the 2004 Asian Amateur Boxing Championships in Puerto Princesa, Philippines. In the final he was defeated by Uzbekistan's Rustam Saidov. In the fall of 2004 he competed in the Russian Boxing Championship and placed second. Sergei could not fight in the final match due to an injury.[4]


Sergei had a successful career as a heavyweight fighter in the PRIDE Fighting Championship, with an overall PRIDE record of 8-3-0. As of late 2005, Kharitonov has struggled with ongoing injuries to his upper back and shoulders, evident in his victory against Fabricio Werdum, in which his right shoulder was strained and injured nearly a minute into the bout, and in his loss to Alistair Overeem, where an awkward fall dislocated his shoulder.

Kharitonov lost to Aleksander Emelianenko at PRIDE's Final Conflict Absolute 2006 on Sept 9 2006.

Kharitonov scored a win against Mike Russow at PRIDE 33 in Las Vegas on February 24.[1]

K-1 HERO's

On September 17, 2007, Kharitonov knocked out Alistair Overeem in the first round in the K-1 HERO's event, subsequently avenging a previous loss.


Kharitonov's next fight was scheduled to be against Mighty Mo at DREAM.6 on September 23, 2008.[6] However Mighty Mo was forced to withdraw due to a back injury. Jimmy Ambriz was Mighty Mo's replacement. Sergei scored a win in the first round by submission via strikes. At Dream 8 Jeff Monson secured Sergei in a North/South Choke. The Russian tried punching his way out but was soon forced to tap for the first time in his career. Kharitonov is known as The Siberian Bear.


Since signing with team Golden Glory Breda in July 2007, Sergei has been in Holland training with some of the best standup fighters in the world. After his loss to Jeff Monson in April, the decision was made to make the last fight on his DREAM contract a K-1 match at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 Final on December 5th. On November 28, K-1 announced that his opponent will be Daniel Ghita in the second reserve match of the Grand Prix. Ghita was originally scheduled to face Kharitonov's teammate Chalid Arrab, who had to withdraw due to an injury. Ghita defeated Kharitonov by KO (Right low kick) at 0:36 of the third round.

Mixed martial arts record

Record Result Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
16-4 Loss United States Jeff Monson Submission (69 Choke) DREAM.8: Welter Weight Grand Prix 2009 First Round April 5, 2009 1 1:42 Japan Nagoya, Japan
16-3 Win United States Jimmy Ambriz Submission (Punches) DREAM.6 September 23, 2008 1 2:15 Japan Saitama, Japan
15-3 Win Netherlands Alistair Overeem KO (Punch) K-1 HERO's - Middleweight GP Final September 17, 2007 1 4:41 Japan Yokohama, Japan
14-3 Win United States Mike Russow Submission (Armbar) PRIDE 33 - The Second Coming February 24, 2007 1 3:46 United States Las Vegas, Nevada
13-3 Loss Russia Aleksander Emelianenko TKO (Strikes) PRIDE Final Conflict Absolute September 10, 2006 1 6:45 Japan Saitama, Japan
13-2 Loss Netherlands Alistair Overeem TKO (Knees) PRIDE 31 - Dreamers February 26, 2006 1 5:13 Japan Saitama, Japan
13-1 Win Brazil Fabricio Werdum Decision (Split) PRIDE 30 - Fully Loaded October 23, 2005 3 5:00 Japan Saitama, Japan
12-1 Win Netherlands Peter Mulder Submission (Armbar) Rings - Lithuania August 20, 2005 1 Lithuania Lithuania
11-1 Win Brazil Pedro Rizzo TKO (Strikes) PRIDE Critical Countdown 2005 June 26, 2005 1 2:02 Japan Saitama, Japan
10-1 Win South Korea Mu Bae Choi KO (Punches) PRIDE 29 - Fists Of Fire February 20, 2005 1 3:24 Japan Saitama, Japan
9-1 Loss Brazil Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Decision (Unanimous) PRIDE Final Conflict 2004 August 15, 2004 2 5:00 Japan Saitama, Japan Pride 2004 HW GP Semifinal
9-0 Win Netherlands Semmy Schilt TKO (Punches) PRIDE Critical Countdown 2004 June 20, 2004 1 9:19 Japan Saitama, Japan Pride 2004 HW GP Quarterfinal
8-0 Win Brazil Murilo Rua KO (Punches) PRIDE Total Elimination 2004 April 25, 2004 1 4:14 Japan Saitama, Japan Pride 2004 HW GP Opening Round
7-0 Win United States Cory Peterson Submission (Armbar) PRIDE 27 - Inferno February 1, 2004 1 1:23 Japan Osaka, Japan
6-0 Win New Zealand Jason Suttie Submission (Armbar) PRIDE Bushido 1 October 5, 2003 1 2:25 Japan Saitama, Japan
5-0 Win Georgia (country) David Shvelidze Submission TORM 8 - Tournament of Real Men 8 February 20, 2003 1 1:00 Russia Ekaterinburg, Russia
4-0 Win Russia Osmanli Vagabov Submission TORM 8 - Tournament of Real Men 8 February 20, 2003 1 0:47 Russia Ekaterinburg, Russia
3-0 Win Russia Roman Savochka TKO (Hand Injury) Brilliant 2 - Yalta's Brilliant 2000 August 11, 2000 1 3:11 Ukraine Yalta, Ukraine
2-0 Win Ukraine Viacheslav Kolesnik TKO (Punch) Brilliant 2 - Yalta's Brilliant 2000 August 11, 2000 1 1:26 Ukraine Yalta, Ukraine
1-0 Win Kyrgyzstan Zamir Syrgabayev Submission (Strikes) Brilliant 2 - Yalta's Brilliant 2000 August 11, 2000 1 2:43 Ukraine Yalta, Ukraine

K-1 / Kickboxing record

0 Wins (0 (T)KO's, 0 decisions), 1 Losses (1 (T)KO's, 0 decisions)
Result Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss Romania Daniel Ghiţă KO (Right Low kick) K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 Final 12/05/2009 3 0:36 Japan Yokohama, Japan

Championships and accomplishments


Mixed martial arts

  • PRIDE 2004 World Grand Prix semi-finalist
  • Tournament of Real Men 8 champion.
  • Brilliant 2 - Yalta's Brilliant 2000 champion.


See also


External links


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