Bellator returns to us tonight, August 20, 2021, for their 265th event, headlined by heavyweight contenders Cheick Kongo and Sergei Kharitonov.
Kongo is coming off his first defeat since the beginning of 2015, a split decision to No. 2 ranked Tim Johnson. His fight prior to that was a title shot against Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader, but unfortunately, that bout ended in a no contest.
However, prior to that, Kongo was on an eight-fight win streak, he’d completely turned his career around since his departure from the UFC. He steps into this bout at 46 years of age, and faces a dangerous Kharitonov who comes in with 21 knockout victories, having won titles in each of his last two bouts, leading up to his Bellator return tonight.
Click here for info on Bellator 265 results.
Continue reading to see how this epic heavyweight bout went down:
Official Result: Cheick Kongo def. Sergei Kharitonov via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:59 of round two
Kharitonov opens up the fight with some heavy pressure, and he has some success early on with his punches.
Kongo starts to come back a little, as he starts landing some slick jabs on his Russian opponent, but Kharitonov takes the round. He controlled the pace the entire time, while Kongo was utilizing head movement along the fence, only sometimes defending the punches.
It looked like Kharitonov hurt Kongo at the end of the round badly with a punch, but Kongo was saved by the bell, or so it would appear.
One minute into round two and Kharitonov has already landed three times as strikes as Kongo.
His success continues, as Kongo appears to be giving the fight away. Then, all of a sudden, Kharitonov gets a little overzealous and eats a nasty combo, stunning him badly.
Kongo continues throwing all sorts of punches and then knees to the body. He attempts a few takedowns, and finally secures one, slamming Kharitonov right to his back.
Kongo then reigns down some ground-and-pound, before taking Kharitonov’s back. He then sinks in a rear naked choke, and it appeared we’d see a third round, but with one second left, Kongo gets the tap.
This was a true comeback of the ages, just as his fight with Pat Barry was in the UFC, because it didn’t at all look like Kongo was coming out of this fight the victor, not after round one was over with, and then of course the start of round two.
What a fight!
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I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.