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Tyrell Fortune wants Sergei Kharitonov next unless ‘he keeps running’

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Following his Bellator 251 win, Tyrell Fortune is eyeing someone he claims ducked him.

Fortune (9-1 MMA, 9-1 BMMA) got back in the win column when he defeated Said Sowma by unanimous decision in the co-main event Thursday night.

Speaking at the post-fight news conference, Fortune proceeded to call Sergei Kharitonov out, who Fortune says was meant to be his original opponent before the Russian turned him down.

“This fight was supposed to be against Sergei Kharitonov,” Fortune said. “I stepped up and I was originally scheduled to fight Linton (Vassell) in December and we both had accepted that fight, and then Kharitonov’s opponent fell out. And so Bellator asked me, ‘Do you want to step up and fight Sergei?’ I was like, ‘Hell yeah, I want to fight Sergei.’

“I stepped up, and then Sergei was like, ‘I don’t want to fight Tyrell.’ I even hit him up on Instagram and called him a little (expletive) and talked some (expletive) to him and he didn’t respond, so I’ll take Sergei unless he wants to keep running.”

In the first co-main event slot of his career, Fortune was a little critical of his performance. He went the distance for the first time in almost three years.

“Me, personally, I’m disappointed with my performance just because of how I felt, and I felt like I could have done a lot more – and I know my coaches, too,” Fortune said. “So I think I could have done a lot better. I think I utilized my opportunities as much as I can, and I go out there and fight to the best of my abilities whatever slot. So the slot to me doesn’t matter as long as I’m in the cage and I’ve got a job to do.”

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