Bellator heavyweight Sergei Kharitonov will take another bout outside of the promotion. M-1 Global has announced that he will face Geronimo Dos Santos at M-1 Challenge 81. The card takes place July 22 in Nazran, Ingushetia, Russia.
After being upset and knocked out by Javy Ayala in his Bellator debut, Kharitonov has bounced back with a pair of victories. First, he returned to Bellator and defeated Chase Gormley at Bellator 175. Then, he scored a 39-second knockout over Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou at M-1 Challenge 80.
Over the course of his career, Kharitonov has also fought for Pride FC and Strikeforce. He holds wins over K-1 champions Semmy Schilt and Alistair Overeem as well as former UFC heavyweight champions Fabricio Werdum and Andrei Arlovski.
Dos Santos has been fighting professionally since making his debut in his native Brazil in 2006. After early career victories over Pride FC veteran Zuluzhinho and UFC veteran Assuerio Silva, he earned a shot against Josh Barnett in 2010 for the short lived Impact FC promotion, but “Mondragon” lost the bout in the first round. He return to the Brazilian circuit and stayed there until he began fighting for Eastern European promotions in 2015. He had signed with the UFC in 2012, but he never made his debut before being released.
He has gone 3-3 in his last six bouts with wins over Dion Staring, Marcus Sursa and Evgeny Erokhin. In his last bout, he fell to Amir Aliakbari under the Rizin banner.
M-1 Challenge 81 is also set to feature the promotional debut of UFC veteran Joe Riggs.