Sergei Kharitonov is not on his way to the UFC, according to Golden Glory executive Bas Boon.
Fighters Only contacted Boon following reports on a Russian website that Kharitonov had parted ways with Golden Glory management and was set on signing a UFC deal. In fact, Kharitonov is at this very moment in Pattaya, Thailand and training at the Golden Glory facility there alongside Boon.
“Earlier this week, I posted something on Twitter about Sergei being in Las Vegas soon so maybe that has somehow sparked this rumour,” says Boon. “But yesterday we were training together here and as you see from the picture, Sergei has the full Golden Glory t-shirt and shorts on.
“Sergei has just recently signed a new multi-fight deal with Glory World Series, which has replaced K-1 as the premier kickboxing league, and I can tell you that he will be in this year’s Glory World Series Heavyweight Grand Prix.”
Kharitonov has been dividing his time between MMA and kickboxing for the last few years and making a comfortable living in the process, but his MMA activities were hurt by the decline of Strikeforce after it was purchased by Zuffa.
His contract with Strikeforce allowed him to partake in fights for other promotions but UFC contracts are exclusive and preclude any kickboxing activity. Earlier this year, I spoke with Sergei in Holland and he said he would be open to a UFC move but only if the money was right, because it would mean losing his revenue stream from kickboxing.
GLORY World Series currently has a 70-kilo Grand Prix underway and the prize money in that tournament is $300,000. Rumour has it that the grand prize for the heavyweight tournament later this year - which will feature Semmy Schilt and Gokhan Saki among others - will be as much as $500,000.