‘I’ll hit you in the balls, see how you feel’ – Kharitonov to ex-UFC champ Taktarov after faker jibe
Kharitonov’s main event match-up against fellow heavyweight Matt Mitrione lasted all of 15 seconds at Bellator 215 in Connecticut earlier in February, after the US veteran caught his opponent with a kick flush to the groin.
Kharitonov crumpled in agony and was unable to continue, with the fight being ruled a no contest.Also on rt.com ‘Pray he has no plans for children’: Internet recoils at below-the-belt kick on Russian MMA fighter
There was widespread concern for Kharitonov as he was hospitalized as a result of his injuries, although he was later released and is on the mend.
But that sympathy did not extend to retired MMA fighter-turned-actor Taktarov, 51, who was something of a trailblazer for his country in the sport as Russia’s first UFC champion, when in 1995 he won an eight-man, single-night tournament.
Taktarov has since forged an acting career, even appearing in bit-part roles in a number of Hollywood films, but suggested that Kharitonov had adopted some acting skills of his own, accusing him of making out the low blow from Mitrione was worse than it actually was.
He even compared his countryman to Brazilian footballer Neymar, who is frequently accused of playacting on the pitch.
“I was reminded of the look on the face of the footballer Neymar, when he’s writhing around,” Taktarov said.
“He and Sergei look alike, like two brothers.”
The former MMA heavyweight – who last appeared in the cage a decade ago – even claimed that Kharitonov may have simply wanted to cash in on the incident.
“It seems I caught the moment when he had the thought, ‘aha, now they will pay me. I can earn, say, half from this fight, and then get more from the next fight,” said Taktarov.
Bellator fighter Kharitonov, 38, has now hit back, offering to dish out a low blow of his own to his countryman, for him to then “see how he feels.”
“Oleg Taktarov, come to a gym, or anywhere you like, it doesn’t have to be there,” the heavyweight says in Russian, a video posted on Instagram.
“I’ll hit you in the balls, like it should be… I invite you with all my soul, and we’ll see how you feel.”
Kharitonov was hospitalized after the painful kick below the belt, suffering a hemorrhoid but escaping any internal bleeding.
Mitrione later apologized, with the groin shot being deemed entirely accidental.
We await with interest whether Taktarov takes Kharitonov up on his offer – although we suspect he will probably pass.