Sergei Kharitonov Interview – It’s Grand Prix Time
By Dave Carpinello
Former PRIDE superstar and Russian Airborne Trooper, Sergei Kharitonov recently talked with PDG regarding his upcoming participation in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, the possibility of facing Alistair Overeem for a third time and his preparation for Andrei Arlovski.
PDG: Two weeks until your fight, how is training going?
Sergei Kharitonov: I had great preparation and training for this fight, I feel 1000%.
PDG: Can you describe a typical day of training?
Sergei Kharitonov: I swim in the morning and at 5 o’clock in the afternoon we train at the Golden Glory Pattaya gym. Training at the gym consists of sparring, ground fighting, techniques, pads, etc. daily.
PDG: What do you think of your opponent, Andrei Arlovski?
Sergei Kharitonov: I think he is a good opponent for me who is well known in the USA, it will give me the chance to prove myself to the American fans.
PDG: This will be your 3rd fight in three months, are you worried about any conditioning issues and or rest issues?
Sergei Kharitonov: No, I like it this way, I am in excellent shape and I have not stopped training, I love fighting a lot now that I am free from my old injury. I have got some catching up to do!
PDG: Does the Strikeforce tournament remind you of your days in PRIDE?
Sergei Kharitonov: I will tell you after my first experience fighting for Strikeforce, but they sure did contract some top level old PRIDE fighters for the tourney.
PDG: Could you rank the other seven fighters (Overeem, Barnett, Fedor, Rogers, Werdum, AA and Silva) that are in the tournament?
Sergei Kharitonov: They are all good fighters and all of them are dangerous. I will not underestimate anyone of them but I will prove that Kharitonov is no dark horse.
PDG: If you and Overeem are successful in the tournament, you two could meet in the finals. What are your thoughts on facing a fellow Golden Glory fighter and Overeem for a third time?
Sergei Kharitonov: It would not be the first time Golden Glory fighters have had to fight each other, we have all done it before. I have no problem fighting Alistair in the finals, it proves who is the best in the tourney and at the same time who is the best Golden Glory fighter. So it’s kind of double win for us as a Golden Glory fighter.
PDG: At this point in your career, are you more focused/interested in MMA or K-1?
Sergei Kharitonov: I like both.
PDG: Are you excited to be returning to the US to fight?
Sergei Kharitonov: I am very exited to fight again in the United States.
PDG: Given the financial state of DREAM/K-1/FEG, what did it mean to you to get the victory on New Years Eve at Dynamite 2010 and do you think it could be the last DREAM event you fight in?
Sergei Kharitonov: I do not know the answer to that, my manager Bas Boon takes care of all those things. I just train and want to fight everywhere. It would be a shame if it would cease to exist, K-1/Dream has provided a home for almost 20 years for fighters, coaches, managers etc.
PDG: When will you arrive in United States for your fight?
Sergei Kharitonov: In two days!
PDG: Thanks for your time and good luck in the tournament, is there anything else you wanted to add?
Sergei Kharitonov: I would like to thank Fight Game “only a fighter knows the feeling”. I would also like to thank all my fans for staying a fan. It’s difficult when you want to fight but you are injured for so long.
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