Matt Mitrione Vs Sergei Kharitonov
Free UFC Pick: Sergei Kharitonov
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
We are coming off an absolutely brutal night at UFC 241 where basically everything went wrong. There is no UFC this weekend, but luckily Bellator is stepping up to the plate to give us something to put our money on in an attempt to make up for last week.
“Meathead’ Matt Mitrione is a well known UFC drop out coming off of the Ultimate Fighter reality series and he is set to face Sergei Kharitonov in the main event on August 24th at Bellator 225. Generally the books are a little slower getting lines out for the smaller promotions like Bellator so at this point we do not have a line to quote, but we can assume it will be close to the lines provided last time these two stepped in the cage. When Mitirione and Sergei last fought in February 2019 the fight ended in a No Contest in the first 15 seconds due to a groin strike by Mitrione. Luckily these two will run back 6 months later and I would expect the betting line to pick up right where it left off around a pick’em.
Matt Mitrione is a former football standout which makes him incredibly athletic and fast for a heavyweight. He played for the New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings prior to starting his MMA career late. The last time we saw him, prior to the No Contest, was in the heavyweight grand prix where he faced fellow former UFC contender Ryan Bader. Bader was able to take Meathead down and control him for a full 3 rounds earning an easy decision win and pass into the next round of the Grand Prix. Even losing that fight however it was obvious that Bader struggled to keep the larger Mitrione down as he had a significant size advantage, but lacked the wrestling ability to stop the offense of Bader.
Mitrione is a heavy handed striker and tends to want to use his athleticism on the feet to outmaneuver his opponents and land a big shot. He may be at a slight technical disadvantage but he makes up for it with his surprising speed for a heavyweight. Prior to his loss to Ryan Bader, Mitrione was on a 4 fight win streak. 3 of the 4 wins came by KO including a clean 1st round KO of one of the biggest names in all of heavyweight MMA Fedor Emelianeko. Prior to his Bellator resurgence however Matt struggled in the UFC losing to fighters like Brendan Shaub, Ben Rothwell, and Travis Browne who are far from the top of the heap.
Sergai is a boxer/kickboxer hailing from Russia who has had a very long and successful career. Sergei started his martial arts journey training in Combat Sambo and was a training partner of the previously mentioned Fedor Emelianeko. Sergei transitioned from Sambo to boxing and kickboxing and finally to MMA where he fought in PRIDE all the way back in 2003. Sergei has fought all around the world and faced names such as Fabricio Werdum, Aleksander Emelianenko, Jeff Monson, Andrei Arlovski, Josh Barnett, and Alistair Overeem twice!
Sergei has been a mixed martial artist his entire life and has seen the absolute best that the heavyweight division has to offer from the far reaching corners of the planet. Since 2011 he has fought 15 times and gone 11-2-2 and most of his wins are by finish. Meathead and Sergei have both found a career resurgence in Bellator and they do have a common opponent in former UFC fighter Roy “Big Country’ Nelson. Sergie faced Roy in October of 2018 and Matt faced him in February earlier that year. The big difference is that Matt won a majority decision over Big Country where Sergei ended him in round 1. Even though Sergei has been fighting in Mixed Martial Arts far longer than Matt has been he is actually the younger fighter of the two and will be the far more skilled fighter once that cage door closes.
Notable Stats – Matt Mitrione:
- 41 years old
- 13 – 6
- 85% Knockout Rate
- 6 Losses 4 have been by finish
Notable Stats – Sergei Kharitonov:
- 38 years old
- 28 – 6
- 93% Finish Rate
- 14 of last 15 wins are by finish