Fifteen seconds. That’s how long the first bout between Sergei Kharitonov and Matt Mitrone lasted after an errant Mitrione kick landed to the groin of Kharitonov.
The two men will run it back in pursuit of a more satisfying main event at Bellator 225 this Saturday night from Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut. In addition to the heavyweight main event, heavyweights Vitaly Minakov and Javy Ayala clash on the main card, Alejandra Lara faces Taylor Turner at flyweight, David Rickels meets Yaroslav Amosov at 175 pounds along with one final heavyweight fight between Tyrell Fortune and Rudy Schaffroth to round out the card.
Bellator 225 viewing information
Date: Saturday, Aug. 24
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Location: Webster Bank Arena — Bridgeport, Connecticut
TV: Paramount Network (check local listings) | Stream: DAZN
Bellator 225 fight card, odds, picks
Sergei Kharitonov vs. Matt Mitrione: This time around, the two big men should find a better result than a 15-second low blow. Oddly enough, two of Kharitonov’s three most recent bouts have ended in a no contest due to fouls. At an M-1 Challenge event in May 2018, Kharitonov (29-7) defeated Anton Vyazigin by majority decision only to see the decision later overturned due to an accidental Kharitonov eye poke. The former PRIDE FC standout is on a five-fight winning streak — ignoring the no contests — since a November 2016 loss to Javy Ayala in the Bellator cage.
Mitrione (13-6) left the UFC for Bellator on a two-fight losing skid and rattled off four consecutive victories before a decision loss to Ryan Bader in the semifinals of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. His follow-up fight was the no contest against Kharitonov. He’s scored three knockouts in the Bellator cage to date.
Things are likely to stay on the feet and heavyweight slugfests between well-matched fighters usually break down to who lands a fight-ending sequence first or they drag to a decision. As long as there’s a winner and the fight lasts more than 15 seconds, Bellator fans should be happy. Prediction: Mitrione TKO2
Vitaly Minakov vs. Javy Ayala: In February, Minakov (21-1) suffered his first career loss when he dropped a decision to Cheick Kongo. That fight was Minakov’s first since he left Bellator as heavyweight champion (with a win over Kongo) in April 2014. He’ll be looking to get his career back on track against Ayala (11-7), a scrappy heavyweight who is no easy out for anyone despite his record. Ayala forced Frank Mir to submit to punches at Bellator 212 in December. Prediction: Minakov UD
Alejandra Lara vs. Taylor Turner: Lara (7-3) is on a two-fight losing skid, but has fought some legitimate talent in her career. Those two recent losses came in a bid for the Bellator flyweight title against Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and a split decision against undefeated Juliana Velasquez. Turner (3-5) was brought in to be a mark in the win column for Heather Hardy, but ended up scoring a TKO win when the two met at Bellator 222. The win over Hardy was Turner’s second straight victory after five consecutive losses. In those five losses, she was submitted three times and knocked out twice. Prediction: Lara SUB1
Tyrell Fortune vs. Rudy Schaffroth: This fight is a meeting of undefeated heavyweights who are looking to elevate themselves to the next tier on the Bellator roster. Fortune (6-0) is a wrestler with dangerous striking, but in Schaffroth (6-0) he meets another confident big man with five knockouts in six career wins, including two first-round stoppages in the Bellator cage. Prediction: Fortune TKO2
David Rickels vs. Yaroslav Amosov: “Caveman” Rickels (21-5) has fought many of the top names to pass through the Bellator cage door at lightweight and welterweight. While he’s riding a two-fight winning streak, he has to be considered the underdog against the Ukrainian “Dynamo.” Amosov (21-0) is undefeated and has the skills to win this fight wherever it goes. Prediction: Amosov UD