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.
Bellator President Scott Coker aims to carve out a new presence for MMA on network TV with Bader vs. Emelianenko 2 and a middleweight title fight between champ Johnny Eblen and Anatoly Tokov. The main card opens with welterweight sluggers Brennan Ward and Sabah Homasi.
Here is full Bellator 290 card.
Main Card (CBS and Paramount+ at 9 p.m. ET)
Ryan Bader vs. Fedor Emelianenko
Johnny Eblen vs. Anatoly Tokov
Preliminary Card (MMA Fighting at 6:00 p.m. ET)
Neiman Gracie vs. Dante Schiro
Lorenz Larkin vs. Mukhamed Berkhamov
Henry Corrales vs. Akhmed Magomedov
Chris Gonzalez vs. Max Rohskopf
Grant Neal vs. Karl Albrektsson
Alejandra Lara vs. Diana Avsaragova
Darrion Caldwell vs. Nikita Mikhailov
Isaiah Hokit vs. Peter Ishiguro