After a day where three Team Golden Glory fighters were purged from the Zuffa roster, the last man standing, Sergei Kharitonov, still has a job and a newfound purpose.
Kharitonov is currently scheduled to compete in the upcoming Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix semifinals against Josh Barnett on Sept. 10 in Cincinnati.
According to Team Golden Glory head trainer Martijn de Jong, Kharitonov is still employed by Strikeforce and is looking forward to winning the Grand Prix.
“Kharitonov will still be fighting in the Heavyeweight Grand Prix and he is now more than ever determined to become the champion!” de Jong wrote in an email to MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday.
The former Pride heavyweight made short work of Andrei Arlovski in his first round match-up in the tournament, and will carry the Team Golden Glory banner forward into his next fight against Barnett in a few weeks.
Earlier in the day on Wednesday the news was revealed that Zuffa, parent company for both the UFC and Strikeforce, had released three Golden Glory fighters from their contracts.
Former Strikeforce women’s champion Marloes Coenen, Valentijn Overeem and UFC 131 Fight of the Night bonus winner Jon Olav Einemo were all let go by the promotion.
Currently, Kharitonov remains as the last Team Golden Glory fighter under contract to Zuffa and will look to prove himself during the next round of the Heavyweight Grand Prix.