Strikeforce Grand Prix: Sergei Kharitonov's Top 5 KOs

Liam WardContributor IJune 19, 2011

Strikeforce Grand Prix: Sergei Kharitonov's Top 5 KOs

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    The winner of tonight's match-up between Brett Rogers and Josh Barnett will have the unforgiving task of facing Sergei Kharitonov in the semifinals.

    Kharitonov is a feared fighter due to his devastating knockout power and boxing prowess, not to mention he has an underrated sambo game.

    "The Russian Mercenary" is viewed by many to be the "dark horse" of the heavyweight tournament, possessing victories over quarter-finalists Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum.

    Without further hesitation, I will present you with the top 5 KO's of Kharitonov's career.

No. 5: Murilo Rua

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    I'm sure many of you are thinking, "Why is this in the top 5?" Well all Sergei did was knock out a blown up Murilo Rua.

    The reason I have chosen this knockout is because it was Sergei's first win over a notable opponent, and it was also his first win in any kind of major tournament.

    The Murilo Rua clip begins at around 1:27.

No. 4: Semmy Schilt

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    One thing's for sure, whether it's on the feet or on the ground, Kharitonov is capable of finishing.

    After taking Semmy Schilt down in their Pride encounter, Kharitonov proceeded to mount him and put the huge kickboxer through a ruthless beating which turns Schilt's face into a bloody mask.

    The clip starts at around 2:30.

No. 3: Andrei Arlovski

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    Many people have criticised Andrei Arlovski for having what could be described as a "glass jaw."

    However, to Arlovski's credit, he took many shot's from "The Russian Mercenary" and went down just like anyone else would have.

    The victory itself might not have been pretty, but I think it shows that Kharitonov still has that kind of power that not even the top fighters are safe from.

No. 2: Pedro Rizzo

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    Although Kharitonov is now more or less a powerful brawler, there was once a time where he had exceptional speed for a heavyweight.

    Pedro Rizzo was a dangerous striker himself at the time, and Kharitonov was able to dominate him on the feet with swift combos and vicious knee strikes.

    The clip begins at around 3:00.

No. 1: Alistair Overeem

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    In their 2006 meeting, Alistair Overeem probably gave Kharitonov the worst defeat of his career, brutalising the Russian with vicious knees.

    The pair met again a year later and despite starting strong, Overeem was eventually caught with a haymaker and wilted under Kharitonov's power.

    A rubber-match would be very interesting for the Strikeforce grand prix final, as both men have stoppage wins over each other.