Low blow! Mitrione takes out Kharitonov with agonizing below-the-belt kick at Bellator 215 (VIDEO)
The main event contest between American star Mitrione and Russian veteran Kharitonov was expected to see one of the pair move forward towards a title shot against current two-division world champion Ryan Bader.
But the contest at Bellator 215 at the Mohegan Sun Arena finished almost as quickly as it started when Mitrione's powerful low kick missed the inside of Kharitonov's thigh and instead landed flush in the Russian star's groin.
It took a split second for the pain to register, but when it did it became obvious very quickly that Kharitonov was not going to recover in the five minutes allotted for an injury timeout and the bout was waved off after just 15 seconds.
With the foul ruled as accidental, a no-contest verdict was rendered, as the night came to a wholly unsatisfactory conclusion.
On a disappointing night for Bellator MMA, the co-main event failed to fire the passions as Logan Storley claimed a routine unanimous decision victory over Ion Pascu in a bout that drew a chorus of boos and jeers from the fans in the stands.
Despite the disappointing nature of Friday night's show, hopes are much higher for Saturday night's second leg of the double-header, where British welterweight stars Paul 'Semtex' Daley and Michael 'Venom' Page will settle their longstanding rivalry inside the cage in the night's main event.
The bout is a quarter-final of the Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix tournament, which will not only see the victor claim bragging rights, it will also propel them into the semi-finals of the tournament, which will finish with the overall winner claiming the Bellator Welterweight World Title and a $1 million prize put up by American rapper 50 Cent.