Former UFC and Bellator fighter Matt Mitrione shared the story of how he missed the hardest blow of his career in the fight against Sergey Kharitonov.
“Remember the robbery scene in Pulp Fiction when they break in and say, ‘Everyone calm down. This is the ability to be calm in battle, when you are hit, not to stumble … I remember I had a fight with Sergei Kharitonov. He hit me with a jab. And that jab hurt me so much… Among all the punches I have ever missed in my career, this jab has shaken me the most. My whole body went numb. His face turned red and hot, a complete ass. And I remember thinking: “***, how bad it will be for me now.”
I remember how everything inside me screamed: “Run! Back off!” But my legs went forward, although I did not feel them. Another voice in me overcame my panic: “Quiet, ***. You don’t have to show him how hurt you are. Otherwise, he will kill you. Just hold on and don’t show what’s wrong with you.” And I threw the jab, the cross, just to hit it back and not show how shocked I was. And now, looking back at that moment, I say to myself: “You did it. Having missed the most terrible blow of your career, you did not show how bad you were.
Kharitonov knocked out Mitrione in August 2019 at Bellator 225 in Connecticut.