Kharitonov (34-9) utilized his most obvious path to victory in the heavyweight bout, which took place Friday at FLXcast Arena in Miami. He needed just two takedowns – one in the first and one in the second – to get Spong (2-1) in position to finish the fight with strikes in mount to secure the TKO at the 2:55 mark of Round 2.
In the first round, Spong didn’t hesitate to land heavy leg and body kicks. They were hard and sounded across the venue. However, Kharitonov looked to close the distance and pressure Spong with no stepping back.
A few seconds into the round, Kharitonov got a takedown. He went for a choke and neck crank from side control but Spong was able to defend and get out. From there Kharitonov moved to mount and began landing ground-and-pound while Spong looked to get up. The shots came often and heavy but Spong did enough to hang on and see the end of the round.
The second round was much better for Spong, but the Russian still managed to get the best of the fight. He was able to circle and stop Kharitonov’s takedowns for half the round while landing nasty leg kicks and combinations to the body and head. With about three minutes remaining, Kharitonov caught a leg kick and took the fight to the ground.
It didn’t take long for Kharitonov to get the mount, pour and ground-and-pound, and get the TKO win.
In his 40’s, Kharitonov enjoying a solid run in combat sports. He’s 6-1 in his past seven fights, being 4-1 in MMA and 2-0 in boxing. His lone defeat came against Cheick Kongo in the main event of Bellator 265. Kharitonov has wins over many notable names such as Alistair Overeem, Andrei Arlovski, Roy Nelson and Fabricio Werdum.
Meanwhile, with this result, Spong suffered his first combat sports career since 2014 where he had a leg break after throwing a kick against Gokhan Saki. It was Spong’s return to MMA competition, as he hadn’t fought in MMA rule set since fighting for World Series of Fighting in 2013.
“I want to continue to fight for Eagle FC and fight for the belt,” Kharitonov said through an interpreter during his post-fight interview with Henry Cejudo.
Up-to-the-minute Eagle FC 44 results include:
Sergei Kharitonov def. Tyrone Spong via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:55
Rashad Evans def. Gabriel Checco via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Ray Borg def. Cody Gibson via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28)
Ramazan Kuramagomedov def. John Howard via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Raimond Magomedaliev def. Anthony Njokuani via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:49
Dylan Salvador def. Arman Ospanov via TKO (corner stoppage) – Round 2, 5:00
Yorgan De Castro def. Shaun Asher via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 1:04
Demarques Jackson def. Miles Hunsinger via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:54
Shawn Bunch def. Firdavs Khasanov via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Loik Radzhabov def. Zach Zane via submission (standing guillotine choke) – Round 1, 3:23
Ayadi Majdeddine def. Sitik Muduev via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)