'Meanest uppercut in the game': Kharitonov KO's Mitrione after mouthpiece drama at Bellator 225
Sergei Kharitonov earned the 29th win of his MMA career as he knocked out fellow veteran Matt Mitrione in the Bellator 225 headliner, though the finish was notable for mouthpiece issues which appeared to distract the American.
The meeting was a rematch of a February clash between the two fighters which ended as a no-contest when Russia's Kharitonov was deemed unable to continue after receiving an accidental low blow from Mitrione.
This time around the finish was also an unusual one, if not quite as eye-watering, as Mitrione was visibly distracted by what appeared to be an ill-fitting mouthpiece which fell from his mouth on several occasions during the fight.
Ex-UFC fighter Mitrione began the contest with the fleet-footedness for which he is known, hitting the target with several clubbing blows. However, at the midway point of the first frame it became apparent that Mitrione was struggling with his mouthpiece and received a warning from referee Dan Miragliotta after the third time it fell out.
PRIDE's legendary paratrooper, Sergei Kharitonov (30-7, 2 NC), is now unbeaten in 8 straight bouts, repeatedly bobbling Matt Mitrione's mouthpiece en route to a brutal, second-round salvo! The 39-year-old has stopped 28, 19 by knockout. And #Bellator225 ends with all finishes. pic.twitter.com/Yf7O9bOwLB— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) August 25, 2019
🇷🇺 Power!!! Big wins by Sergey Kharitonov, Vitaly Minakov and Yaroslav Amosov yesterday in @BellatorMMA Photo Credit: Bellator pic.twitter.com/x7ibOvW1Tj— Bruno Massami (Бруно Массами) (@BrMassami) August 25, 2019
Sergei Kharitonov is one of the rare few people I would believe if he told me he likes to get hit. The man’s an apex predator.— Luka Jelcic (@JelcicLuka) August 25, 2019
Kharitonov has the meanest uppercut in the game , don't @ me #bellator@BellatorMMA— thebeastinsideus (@thebeastinsid13) August 25, 2019
In the break between rounds, Mitrione - by now clearly distracted - informed his corner that he had another mouthpiece in his kit bag but his team appeared to ignore this information and instead focus on preparing him for the second round - only for it to happen again.
This time, and before Miragliotta could pause the fight, a frustrated Mitrione stepped in to Kharitonov's range where he was swiftly felled by a clinical uppercut. The fight was over moments later.
The win adds to Kharitonov's recent run of impressive performances which has seen him suffer defeat just once in the last eight years, and put the cap on what was a night of finishes in Bridgeport, Connecticut, as not one fight on the 14-bout card went to a decision.
Elsewhere on the card, Russia's Vitaly Minakov rebounded from his first career loss to get a first round knockout victory against Timothy Johnson in a heavyweight contest while Yaroslav Amosov scored an impressive D'arce choke victory against David Rickels.
Nick Newell, the lightweight fighter born with a congenital amputation of his left arm, took his professional record to 16-2 with a submission win against Corey Browning. Aviv Gozali made some history of his own, defeating Eduard Muravitsky by heel hook submission in just 11 seconds of the first round - the quickest submission win in Bellator history.Also on rt.com Bellator 225: Congenital amputee fighter Nick Newell earns dominant debut win