Last Man Standing: Team Golden Glory’s Sergei Kharitonov More Determined Than Ever

August 3, 2011
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Sergei Kharitonov at Pride 30

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.


Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
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  • wonggfan

    War Sergei!

    Without Reem this tournament doesn’t make any sense since I thought this tourney was to show case the Reem’s skills.

    But after failing to destroy Werdum, and actually getting hit on the face by Werdum multiple times, the Reem failed to live up to the hype. It is one thing to beat Japanese cans so easily. It is another to beat a legitimate fighter.

    The new (real) HW ranking:

    1. Cain
    2. JDS
    3. Brock
    4. Reem
    5. Carwin
    6. Werdum
    7. Mir
    8. Barnett
    9. Bigfoot
    10. Sergei <—-WAR!!!!

    • jared499

      @wonggfan

      Like the rankings. Here is my opinion
      1. Cain
      2. JDS
      3. Brock
      4. Reem
      5. Barnett
      6. Werdum
      7. Bigfoot
      8. Mir
      9. Carwin
      10. Sergi

  • rezsurfer

    Lame , who really just dominates anyone. He beat Rodgers , Duffee and then beat Werdum . But yet everyone says he beat no one.. KO ed Chuck easily, in his prime. Steroid allegations blah blah never been busted but yet people still pout you can get passed that, yet UFC fighters getting busted left and right and giving more chances all the time. UFC just dont wanna see there fighters get whooped by a non made ufc fighter. Dana’s ego runs the ufc and he wont allow a non ufc breed fighter beat on his boys. He says the best in the UFC well alistair is one the best why cut him if not for his own ego

    • gnodeb

      Once you fight in UFC you are UFC fighter. Only UFC fighter can beat UFC fighter, so DW has no problem at all.

      Nobody started fighting in UFC with 0-0 score (even Brock was 1-0), they all fight somewhere before they earn place in UFC. There is a lot of champions from other organisation who are fighting in UFC. There is no such thing as UFC breed.

      There is only one reason AO is not in UFC. He didn’t want to be… There is nothing wrong with it… That is the point of freedom of choice…

    • jared499

      @rezsurfer

      Please tell me you are a 10 year old just spouting off at the mouth. Because if you try telling me that you are a real MMA fan, I am just going to laugh.

      Maybe I am reading you post wrong, but here is what I got from it.
      1. You are actually saying that the combination of Rodgers, Duffee, and Werdum are legit contenders that should increase his (Reems) ranking in the HW division.
      2. He (Reem) KO’d Chuck Liddell in his prime.
      3. You are actually comparing him (Reem) to fighters in the UFC (or any US promotion) for steroid use.
      4.The UFC (Zuffa) cut him (Reem) because they do not want to see him beat the fighters that they have molded.

      Ok I will answer these all for you in order.
      1. You are comletely nuts even making this statement. Rodgers is exactly the same as Affliction pumping up “Whats him Name” (Kimbo). Simply put he was a big overhyped fighter who was thrown to the wolves. Duffee, are you kidding me. The UFC cuts this guy because the saw that he was no good. One lucky punch and the man is the next Anderson, please. Note that he is not fighting for any of the other big promotions. Werdum, again cut from the UFC, beats Mike Kyle (whoopped de do), barely beats a very out of shape Bigfoot Silva by decision. Then beats an out of shape and very downgraded Fedor. The Fedor match is the only thing that makes Werdum even remotely relavent.

      2. He (Reem) got his butt KO’d (punches) by Liddell the only time they fought 08/10/2003 at Pride Total Elimination 2003 in the first round (3:09 to be exact)

      3. The reason all those fighter tested positive for Steroids, BECAUSE THEY ACTUALL WERE TESTED. It is very well known that Japan and other countires are not very strict on the testing of performence enhancing drugs, if they test at all.

      4. This again is simply insane. They (UFC) signs Rampage, beats the poster boy Chuck Liddell and ends his reign. They sign Shogun, wins the LHW title. The sign Lesnar who wins the HW title and restarts the professional wrestling debate again. Big Nog, Axe Murderer, Lil Nog, and Anderson, are all former Pride fighters and now are some of the promotions biggest stars.

      Listen man, everyone is allowed an opinion, but at least “Google” what you are spouting off about before you actually put it in your comment. It will save you in the end.

  • Mendel

    The things is it is hard to say how good AO is as he hasn’t fought the best in the world but then I look at Cain’s record. Who has he really fought? Brock Lesnar who I believe is overrated and Chuck Kongo, who dominated him on the feet. Ye he beat Nogueira but I think we all know he is not the fighter he was and he will start to drop fights Liddell style. Don’t get me wrong I think he is a great fighter but just saying that on paper he ain’t got a great resume so to speak. Ye it is better than Duffee, Rogers and Werdum but still.

    One thing Barnet above Overeem… really…

    Watching some of AO’s fight I think he could do very well in the UFC. I see him dominating Mir, Brock, Noguire, Shaub, Nelson. I only see CV and JDS above and JDS top in my opinion. But still we may never know.. sadly.

  • Darren2112

    Not knowing any more than any one else does, I think those Golden Glory fighters didnt get cut because they sucked as fighters, I believe they got cut because their management had a disagreement with Zuffa.

    (Hopefully) if the disagreement can get resolved or if the fighters change their management, then maybe they can get resigned.

    I’m real interested to see three of those four fighters who were cut compete again.