The new year is upon us and Bellator MMA is ready to kick things into high gear right off the bat. The promotion begins the 2023 campaign with a loaded fight card set for Saturday night in Inglewood, California. The action is anchored by a heavyweight title rematch between champion Ryan Bader and challenger Fedor Emelianenko. The event also marks the debut for the promotion on CBS.
Emelianenko, a former PRIDE champion, is one of the greatest heavyweights in MMA history. He faces Bader, who has held the title since winning it in January 2019 — the same time as he held the light heavyweight title. While he lost his title at 205 pounds, Bader has made two successful title defenses.
The pair met once previously, with Bader knocking out Emelianenko in just 35 seconds when they met in the finals of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix.
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There’s another championship fight on the card as undefeated Johnny Eblen defends his middleweight title against Anatoly Tokov. The fight is Eblen’s first defense since winning the belt with a dominant performance against Gegard Mousasi in June 2022. Tokov has won seven straight since debuting in Bellator, five of those wins coming by stoppage.
The main card opener sees what’s expected to be an absolute brawl between Sabah Homasi and Brennan Ward. The pair of welterweight sluggers meet with plenty at stake as each enters on a two-fight win streak looking to move toward a title shot.
Check out the rest of the fight card below as well as how you can catch the action from the Kia Forum.
Bellator 290 fight card
- Ryan Bader (c) -330 vs. Fedor Emelianenko +260, heavyweight championship
- Johnny Eblen (c) -260 vs. Anatoly Tokov +210, middleweight championship
- Sabah Homasi -190 vs.Brennan Ward +160, welterweight
- Neiman Gracie -280 vs. Dante Schiro +230, welterweight
- Mukhamed Berkhamov -220 vs. Lorenz Larkin +180, welterweight
- Akhmed Magomedov -500 vs. Henry Corrales +380, featherweight
- Steve Mowry -130 vs. Ali Isaev +110, heavyweight
- Chris Gonzalez -195 vs. Max Rohskopf +165, lightweight
- Karl Albrektsson -150 vs. Grant Neal +125, light heavyweight
- Alejandra Lara -120 vs. Diana Avsaragova +100, women’s flyweight
- Nikita Mikhailov -160 vs. Darrion Caldwell +135, bantamweight
- Jornel Lugo -330 vs. Jaylon Bates +260, bantamweight
- Isaiah Hokit -450 vs. Peter Ishiguro +350, featherweight
- Yusuf Karakaya -140 vs. Ethan Hughes +120, welterweight
Bellator 290 info
- Date: Feb. 4
- Location: Kia Forum — Inglewood, California
- Start time: 9 p.m. ET (Main card)
- How to watch: CBS
Bellator 290 countdown
- Campbell: Emelianenko gets the chance for a storybook ending to legendary career
- Mahjouri: Eblen trying to make a quick run at a legacy reign
- Brookhouse: Fedor ready to walk away for good after title fight
- Campbell: Three biggest storylines set for Los Angeles