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Bellator MMA

On Saturday night, two veteran heavyweights will clash in the main event of Bellator 265 when Cheick Kongo battles Sergei Kharitonov. The action goes down from inside Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and airs live on Showtime.

Kharitonov continues to be a relevant player at 41 years old, having piled up a 13-2 record since the start of 2012. That includes a two-fight winning streak since the last time he set foot in a Bellator cage. That last Bellator fight resulted in a TKO loss to Linton Vassell in November 2019.

Kharitonov has been a player on the world stage since debuting for Pride FC in 2003. He holds career victories over many MMA greats, including Murilo "Ninja" Rua, Pedro Rizzo, Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem and Andrei Arlovski.

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Kongo is an 18-fight UFC veteran who will be fighting for the 17th time in the Bellator cage on Friday. Kongo had an eight-fight winning streak snapped in his most recent outing, dropping a split decision to Tim Johnson. One fight prior, Kongo fought Ryan Bader for the heavyweight championship, with the fight ending in a no-contest after an accidental eye poke by Bader.

Kongo now has not won a fight since February 2019, despite having a 12-3 Bellator record.

Elsewhere on the card, a welterweight bout gets co-main event billing with Logan Storley taking on Dante Schiro. Storley, a native of South Dakota, returns home after seeing his zero in the loss column erased in his most recent outing, dropping a split decision to new champion Yaroslav Amosov. Storley attempted a comeback in May, but saw his bout with Omar Hussein canceled just ahead of fight time when Hussein was not cleared by medical staff. Schiro, meanwhile, will make his promotional debut while riding a two-fight win streak.

Plus, heavyweight Marcelo Golm is ready for his promotional debut when he takes on fellow newcomer Billy Swanson in a featured bout. Golm was scheduled to face three different opponents over the last few months, but saw each of those bouts fall off for one reason or another. Now, the former UFC fighter gets a chance to make his mark with a new promotion.

Here's the fight card for Bellator 265 with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook.

Bellator 265 card, odds

FavoriteUnderdogWeightclass

Sergei Kharitonov -130

Cheick Kongo +110

Heavyweight

Logan Storley -2500

Dante Schiro +1200

Welterweight

Marcelo Golm -500Billy Swanson +380Heavyweight
Jornel Lugo -165Keith Lee +140Featherweight

Bellator 265 viewing information

Date: Aug. 20 | Start time: 9 p.m. ET (6:30 p.m. prelims)
Location: Sanford Pentagon -- Sioux Falls, South Dakota
TV Channel: Showtime | Stream: Showtime App

Prediction

Cheick Kongo vs. Sergei Kharitonov: Kongo is always a difficult fighter to figure out. At times, he's a knockout artist. Other times, he's a grinder who uses a basic wrestling game to grind and control opponents. Two of Kongo's three losses in the Bellator cage are by split decision, giving some insight into the difficulty of fighting him. Kharitonov is a finisher, with just two decisions in his 32 career victories. Kongo has 11 career losses but has only been finished four times. This all adds up to Kongo being able to grind his way to a decision victory. Pick: Cheick Kongo via UD