Bellator 265 Preview: Cheick Kongo – Sergei Kharitonov

May 12, 2018; San Jose, CA, USA; Cheick Kongo (red gloves) defeats Javy Ayala (blue gloves) during Bellator 199 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, Bellator returns on Showtime for the 265th card and they are featuring a heavyweight showdown. In the main event, the third ranked heavyweight in the promotion, Cheick Kongo (30-11-2, 1 NC), will take on the returning Sergei Kharitonov (32-8, 2 NC).

It’s truly remarkable that at this stage of his life, Cheick Kongo is still a top ranked heavyweight with Bellator. The French striker turned 46 years old back in May and he’s still going strong.

After making a name for himself in the UFC, Kongo made the jump to Bellator back in 2013. Since then, he’s gone 12-3, 1 NC in 16 bouts with the promotion. During that time, he’s defeated the likes of Alexander Volkov and Augusto Sakai.

Last October, he lost to Tim Johnson in Bellator‘s first event held in Paris. That was Kongo’s first loss since 2015 and derailed his plans to become champion. Now, he’s looking to get back on track against Kharitonov.

Kharitonov has bounced around over the past few years. He’s fought with Bellator, he’s had professional boxing matches, and he’s fought with other promotions. In June, he won a professional boxing match by third round knockout. With Bellator, Kharitonov has gone 3-2, 1 NC.

Bellator 265 Prediction

To be completely honest, this isn’t much of a main event for Bellator. While these are two very solid heavyweights, it’s not really what you want in your headliner, but it’s still a solid fight and would be worth watching.

Now, I’m very curious to see how this fight takes place. In his younger years, Kongo loved to strike and use the clinch to use a ton of knees and control his opponents. At his advanced age, Kongo has resulted to more clinch fighting and playing it a little safe.

He’s going to have his hands full at Bellator 265 with Kharitonov. Kharitonov has crisp striking and he’s very powerful on the feet. If he catches Kongo flush, Kongo will be suffering his second straight loss in Bellator for the first time in his career with the promotion.

I’m having a hard time seeing Kongo winning this fight. At some point, age just catches up with you and Father Time is undefeated. I think Kongo has his moments, but I’m expecting a big bomb to land from Kharitonov which will give him the win at Bellator 265.

Prediction: Sergei Kharitonov by TKO – Round 2