The most anticipated co-main event between Vadim Nemkov and Yoel Romero for the light heavyweight title is off the Bellator 290 card which takes place on February 4th, 2023 at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, California, just outside Los Angeles.
The announcement regarding the change in the main card was made official on Tuesday and to fill the gap a showdown between Fedor Emelianenko’s teammate, Anatoly Tokov, and the champion Johnny Eblen has been finalized for the middleweight championship.
The Bellator 290 main card is headlined by a heavyweight title fight between the champion Ryan Bader and Fedor Emelianenko. Emelianenko's spectacular career is reportedly coming to an end with this bout.
After defeating Corey Anderson by unanimous decision in November of last year, which concluded a two-fight run that was necessary because their first encounter ended with a no contest, this was Nemkov's fifth planned title defense. Nemkov left Bellator 290, although the reason why hasn't been made public.
At Bellator 282 in June, Eblen defeated Gegard Mousasi by unanimous decision, winning the middleweight division by a score of 50-45. The rising star with excellent wrestling capabilities defeated John Salter in March to make himself eligible for a title opportunity.
Since starting his professional MMA journey in 2017, "The Human Cheat Code" is 12-0, with eight victories coming inside the Bellator cage.
In his last outing at Bellator 282, Tokov (31-3) defeated Muhammad Abdullah via first-round TKO for his seventh consecutive victory, all wins came under the Bellator name. After a two-year absence, Tokov made a comeback in October 2021 and accepted a split verdict win against Sharaf Davlatmurodov.
With the change, the Bellator 290 main card lineup now includes:
Champ Ryan Bader vs. Fedor Emelianenko – for the heavyweight title
Champ Johnny Eblen vs. Anatoly Tokov – for the middleweight title
Sabah Homasi vs. Brennan Ward