Saturday marks the end of one era as heavyweight great Fedor Emelianenko makes his last appearance in the cage – and the beginning of another as Bellator makes its broadcast TV debut.
Emelianenko rematches heavyweight champ Ryan Bader in his retirement fight, hoping to go out on a high note in his retirement bout on Saturday at Kia Forum in Inglewood, Calif.
Bellator on Thursday released the cold open for the event, which airs on CBS at 9 p.m. ET. The Tiffany network airs its first MMA card since 2010, when Strikeforce: Nashville ended in an infamous brawl.
Scott Coker, President of Bellator, aims to make MMA a more prominent presence on TV. Bader vs. Emelianenko will be the first fight. Anatoly Tokov and Johnny Eblen will face off for the middleweight title. The main card opens with welterweight sluggers Brennan Ward and Sabah Homasi.
Here is the full Bellator 290 Card.
Main card (CBS, Paramount+ at 9.p.m. ET)
Ryan Bader vs. Fedor Emelianenko
Johnny Eblen vs. Anatoly Tokov
Sabah Homasi vs. Brennan Ward
Preliminary Card (MMA Fighting at 6:00 p.m. ET)
Neiman Gracie vs. Dante Schiro
Lorenz Larkin vs. Mukhamed Berkhamov
Henry Corrales and Akhmed Magomedov
Steve Mowry vs. Ali Isaev
Chris Gonzalez vs. Max Rohskopf
Grant Neal vs. Karl Albrektsson
Alejandra Lara vs. Diana Avsaragova
Darrion Caldwell vs. Nikita Mikhailov
Jaylon Beates vs. Jornel Lugio
Isaiah Hokit vs. Peter Ishiguro
Ethan Hughes vs. Yusuf Karakaya