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CBS brings Bellator MMA and Fedor Emelianenko to network TV in February

Jason Burgos
Credit: Lucas Noonan/BELLATOR MMA

Bellator MMA is set to make its network television debut on CBS this February with a card that will see the return of mixed martial arts icon Fedor Emelianenko.

On Friday morning, the Hollywood Reporter broke the news that the MMA promotion Bellator will make its broadcast TV debut on Feb. 4. The event will air live on CBS, and feature two championship bouts.

In the main event of Bellator 290, reigning heavyweight king Ryan Bader (30-7) will have a rematch with former Pride FC champ and overall MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko (40-6). The bout will come just over four years after the pair faced off in the headliner of Bellator 214 in Jan. 2019. “Darth” won the bout with a lightning-quick knockout 35 seconds into the matchup.

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The 46-year-old Emelianenko won back-to-back fights by KO since the defeat and has been victorious in four of his last five. The fight will be a return to US network TV for Fedor Emelianenko. He previously competed in front of the nation in a 2009 win over Brett Rogers.

UFC veteran Ryan Bader has remained the promotion heavyweight king since earning the title in his 2019 win over the Russian in the finals of the promotion’s heavyweight Grand Prix.

Along with Fedor Emelianenko’s return, Bellator 290 will also feature Yoel Romero

Credit: Lucas Noonan/BELLATOR MMA

Along with the heavyweight title clash between Bader and Emelianenko, fellow UFC veteran Yoel Romero (15-6) has been announced to return to action on Feb. 4 and he will face the winner of the main event on Friday at Bellator 288.

In tonight’s headliner, light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov will look to defend his title in a finals rematch of the Grand Prix against former UFC star Corey Anderson. The pairs first booking in April ended in a no-contest after an accidental clash of heads forced the end of the fight.

The one-time Cuban Olympian fell in his Bellator MMA debut to Phil Davis last year. However, he has won two straight, including a dominant win over Melvin Manhoef in Sept. He previously competed for the UFC middleweight title two times during his stint with the MMA world leader.