BELLATOR 290 was a night that will be remembered for multiple reasons, as Ryan Bader successfully defended his BELLATOR Heavyweight World Championship in what also served as Fedor Emelianenko’s final fight as a professional.

The first-ever BELLATOR card on CBS and Paramount+ also saw legends the likes of: Chael SonnenMatt HughesRampage JacksonChuck LiddellRandy CoutureFrank ShamrockJosh BarnettRoyce GracieMark ColemanRenzo Gracie, send “The Last Emperor” off as he laid down his BELLATOR gloves to signify his final fight.

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In the co-main event of the CBS-televised card, undefeated middleweight champion Johnny Elben remained unbeaten, defeating Team Fedor’s Anatoly Tokov via unanimous decision to retain his belt. There is now little doubt that the American Top Team-product is one of the most elite 185-pounders on the planet.

The first-ever BELLATOR fight on CBS saw “Irish” Brennan Ward return to the Kia Forum in Inglewood, Calif. and stop Sabah Homasi via TKO in the second round. The Connecticut mainstay made it clear he would like to fight Dalton Rosta in his next BELLATOR outing.

BELLATOR returns to action on Feb. 25 from Dublin with a Welterweight World Championship rematch between interim champion Logan Storley and the returning Yaroslav Amosov.


#C-Ryan Bader (31-7) defeated #3-Fedor Emelianenko (40-7) via TKO (punches) at 2:30 of round one

Fedor Quotes:

“I feel great. He hit me a few times, but I didn’t lose consciousness. I felt everything.

 They warmed me up a little bit late, but it’s not important. Because I was warming up late, I had to concentrate myself.

 I was really happy to see all the legends, all the fighters. With some of them I shared the ring, with some of them I was watching and learning from them. It was great to have them come and support me.

I feel great.

 I’m getting older, my age. Plus all my injuries from the past, they start to remind me of them. My body doesn’t feel the same way as it used to.

The only thing, I could have beat Ryan Bader, but it didn’t happen.

It’s a part of my life. One of the most important parts of my life.

 Basically, I’m very happy and very excited it happened here. Right from the beginning we were discussing it was going to be 3 fights. Russia, Japan and the last one in the United States.

Thank God, everything is great. The money comes and goes, so you never know what will happen. I still have my arms and my legs, so I can work if I have to.

It doesn’t matter if I win or lose, that’s how it supposed to happen. You saw today, the whole arena was cheering for me. So, I really hope that I keep my popularity and my fanbase based on my actions in the cage, not because I was trash talking my opponents. 

I think the first fight with Antonio Nogueira. I don’t know why I still remember the fight with…

Hit the hardest:

I’m not sure. You don’t think about it inside the cage because… I had a boxing trainer, he said don’t pay attention to the punches.

With Antonio Nogueira it was a special fight. He’s a very special fighter. And at that moment, he was the strongest and best. I always remember a special moment.

 Response to Cris Cyborg:

Thank you very much. I’m very excited and I wish you all the best. I watch your fights and I wish you the best and lots of happiness.”

#C-Johnny Eblen (13-0) defeated Anatoly Tokov (31-3) via unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 49-46)

 Eblen Quotes: “It was tough. First round was tough. After that, I just did what I wanted to do with him. Started puling away. He’s the first guy to beat me in a round cause two judges gave him the first round.

Yeah I was pretty happy with the performance. I’m pretty critical of myself. I’m going to watch it back and pick it apart. I got hit. I don’t want to get hit. The Supplex could have been better, I’m just kidding. It was a pretty good Supplex.

I think I’m the best in the world now. How I’m training, how much I’m getting better exponentially, I think I’m the best in the world.

 When I was training and sparring, I pull off some crazy shit in sparring and King Mo (?) was like man I’m gonna start calling you the human cheat code. I ended up changing it because big john was like I’m gonna start calling you the human cheat code.

I have the best team in the world at American Top Planet. I appreciate you Dan. You gave me a playground to get better.

 I’ll do whatever. I don’t give a shit. I’m one of the best middleweight in the world. I am the best middleweight in the world. I’m going to clean out this division, then I’ll do superfights.

I was calm, collected. I knew I kinda lost and I put it behind me. And came out in the second round and dropped his ass.

 I couldn’t get my timing in the first round. Once I got my timing, I was able to bring in the

 When I elbowed him in the face and he fell.

 In Paris, Mousasi and Edwards are going to fight. So Mousasi can get it again and I’d like to welcome Edwards.

There’s so much I need to get better at. I’m just scratching the surface. It’s gonna be scary.

I just fuckin fight. I don’t really think too much about it. Maybe I’ll switch stances, maybe I’ll throw and elbow out. If it feels right, I’ll do it. I’m the cardio king. I don’t get tired.”

Brennan Ward (16-6) defeated #8-Sabah Homasi (17-11) via TKO (strikes) at 1:34 of round two

Ward Quotes: “I feel like it lived up to the hype. We knew we were gonna bang out and we banged out. I came out on the winning end. My eye is a little swollen, but my hand is ok.

 I really thought I was going to get into my rhythm earlier. He backed away. I really did, I thought I was gonna stand. I wasn’t able to get into my rhythm right away. I got a takedown right away.

 I’ve never thrown a head kick before. I train with team turbo (?) for a week and now I’m throwing head kicks. It probably wasn’t that pretty but. 

When did I last fight, 2017? 5 years ago? I didn’t want it back then. I was on that downward spiral. So then I didn’t want it. But 2 years ago, 3 years ago, if you asked me that question, I wanted to come back. I was so far down a rabbit hole, man.

Like I said it took me a little while to get into rhythm. He was a little more evasive than I thought he would be. I kinda had to chase him around a little bit. Once I felt what he had, once I felt his kicks, not that he doesn’t hit hard or kick hard. So once I felt his shit, I was like alright, I’m good. After the second round my coach was yelling at me to cut off the ring. I don’t want to box, I wanna bang.

 I mean obviously it’s up to Bellator, my coach is pissed at me. They want me to stay at 170. My and Don (?), we been pokin at each other. You know that would be a good ass fight. That dude is a younger version of me. He’s a little more cut up and diesel than I was, when I was at 85. He’s good at the memes. If they want to make that fight, I’m obviously down for that fight.

I want to fight for the belt. I want to fight for the title. No one brings it like I do. Who else? I got 100% finish rate. Against some dudes that can crack too.

Just do it. Take the step. Go to detox, get it done. Then ride that grind out. Going to detox is the easy part. It’s the next 6 months to a year that you gotta grind it out. And you’ll be so happy you did. And if you slip up, don’t be too hard on yourself. You might have to go a couple times. It’s hard. It’s the hardest thing you will ever do. Cage fighting is nothing compared to getting clean. If you need me, hit me in my DMs. I try to get back to everybody. If you need me, I’m there. I got connections to all kinds of facilities.”


Yusuf Karakaya (2-0) defeated Ethan Hughes (3-1) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Isaiah Hokit (3-1) defeated Peter Ishiguro (2-2) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Jaylon Bates (7-0) defeated Jornel Lugo (8-2) via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

#7-Neiman Gracie (12-4) defeated Dante Schiro (9-5) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

#8-Lorenz Larkin (25-7) defeated Mukhamed Berkhamov (14-1, 1 NC) via KO (elbow) at 1:41 of round one

Henry Corrales (21-6) defeated Akhmed Magomedov (10-2, 1 NC) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

#5-Steve Mowry (10-0-1, 1 NC) and Ali Isaev (9-0-1) fought to a unanimous draw (28-28, 28-28, 28-28)

Chris Gonzalez (8-1) defeated Max Rohskopf (7-3) via TKO (punches) at 1:22 of round two

#6-Grant Neal (8-1) defeated #T9-Karl Albrektsson (13-4) via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Diana Avsaragova (6-0) defeated Alejandra Lara (9-7) via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Nikita Mikhailov (10-2) defeated Darrion Caldwell (15-7) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)