Johnny Eblen Targets First Championship Defense and Pound-for-Pound Supremacy Against Team Fedor’s Anatoly Tokov

Johnny Eblen Targets First Championship Defense and Pound-for-Pound Supremacy Against Team Fedor’s Anatoly Tokov

Image Credit: Lucas Noonan/Bellator MMA

LOS ANGELES – This Saturday, Feb. 4, BELLATOR MMA will make its landmark CBS network television and Paramount+ debut from the Kia Forum in Inglewood, CA. In the historic Heavyweight World Championship main event, reigning titleholder and No. 6 Pound-for-Pound athlete Ryan “Darth” Bader (30-7, 1 NC) seeks to become the first man to ever defeat the legendary No. 3-ranked Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko (40-6, 1 NC) twice in the Russian icon’s final fight of what has been an unrivaled combat sports career.

BELLATOR 290: Bader vs. Fedor 2 will air live on CBS and on the Paramount+ streaming service at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. Following the live event, the broadcast will be available on Paramount+ on an on-demand basis and streaming on the BELLATOR MMA channel on Pluto TV. BELLATOR 290 will also be available on SHOWTIME streaming service and SHOWTIME On Demand later in the month.

In the co-headlining bout, undisputed and undefeated World Middleweight Champion, No. 5 Pound-for-Pound talent Johnny “The Human Cheat Code” Eblen (12-0) will aim to earn his first title defense against Emelianenko protégé, No. 3-ranked Anatoly Tokov (31-2). Welterweight fan-favorites “Irish” Brennan Ward (16-6) and No. 8-ranked contender Sabah “Sleek Sheik” Homasi (17-10) will make history as the first BELLATOR fight to air on CBS and Paramount+ in this must-see main card curtain-jerker.

JOHNNY EBLEN AIMS TO PROVE HE IS WORLD’S BEST, KEEP PERFECT RECORD INTACT IN CO-HEADLINER

Ask any of the prestigious South Florida MMA gym American Top Team’s vaunted fighters, and Johnny Eblen will be the first name answered to the question of who the best middleweight in the world is. The reigning Middleweight World Champion exploded into superstardom by defeating MMA legend Gegard Mousasi (49-8-2) this past June, but his rise to No. 5 in the Pound-for-Pound rankings has been an inevitable ascent. The 31-year-old has won all twelve of his professional fights, adding an ever-increasingly dangerous striking arsenal to his world-class wrestling and unrivaled cardio. He will look to score his first title defense and prove himself the world’s best at BELLATOR 290.

  • Eblen will make his ninth BELLATOR appearance on February 4, as well as his first co-main event appearance. It will be Eblen’s first title defense of the Middleweight World Championship.
  • Eblen’s 12-0 record includes five knockouts and a submission victory, evidence of his powerful strikes and keen finishing ability. He will look to defeat his third straight-ranked opponent at BELLATOR 290.
  • Prior to transitioning to mixed martial arts, Eblen was a decorated wrestler at the University of Missouri. He qualified for the NCAA DI National Championships in 2015 and was a two-time All-MAC Academic Team member.

BELLATOR 290: BADER VS. FEDOR 2 MAIN CARD: 

CBS and Paramount +
Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023 — 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT

Heavyweight World Title Main Event: #C-Ryan Bader (30-7, 1 NC) vs. #3-Fedor Emelianenko (40-6, 1 NC)

Middleweight World Title Co-Main Event: #C-Johnny Eblen (12-0)vs. Anatoly Tokov (31-3)

Welterweight Bout: Sabah Homasi (17-10) vs. Brennan Ward (16-6)

BELLATOR 290: BADER VS. FEDOR 2 PRELIMINARY CARD: 

BELLATOR MMA YouTube Channel | Pluto TV
6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT

Welterweight Bout: #7-Neiman Gracie (11-4) vs. Dante Schiro (9-4)

Welterweight Bout: #8-Lorenz Larkin (24-7, 2 NC) vs. Mukhamed Berkhamov (15-1, 1 NC)

Featherweight Bout: Henry Corrales (20-6) vs. Akhmed Magomedov (9-0, 1 NC)

Heavyweight Bout: #5-Steve Mowry (10-0, 1 NC) vs. Ali Isaev (9-0)

Lightweight Bout: Chris Gonzalez (7-2) vs. Max Rohskopf (7-1)

Light Heavyweight Bout: #6-Grant Neal (7-1) vs. #T9-Karl Albrektsson (13-4)

Flyweight Bout: Alejandra Lara (9-6) vs. Diana Avsaragova (5-0)

Bantamweight Bout: Darrion Caldwell (14-6) vs. Nikita Mikhailov (9-2)

Bantamweight Bout: Jaylon Bates (6-0) vs. Jornel Lugo (8-1)

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