Bellator’s upcoming event in Los Angeles has a new co-main event.

Bellator 290’s title-fight double-header at the Kia Forum has a heavyweight title clash in its main event slot, as Ryan Bader faces off with Russian icon Fedor Emelianenko in a rematch. But the planned co-main event between light heavyweight champ Vadim Nemkov and Cuban powerhouse Yoel Romero is no longer on the bout sheet for the event.

With that bout scratched from the card, Bellator officials have moved quickly to replace it and maintain the two-title-fight lineup for LA, and have booked a 185-pound title clash between newly-crowned champion Johnny Eblen and Russian challenger Anatoly Tokov.

Undefeated Eblen has worked his way up Bellator’s middleweight ladder with a string of impressive performances, but his biggest display to date came in his title-winning effort against Dutch legend Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 282.

Eblen’s performances earned him Fighters Only World MMA Award nominations for Fighter of the Year and Breakthrough Fighter of the Year as he rose to Bellator’s middleweight summit. Now he’s reached the top, his job is now to stay there, and his first challenge comes in the form of Tokov, who trains in the same team alongside main event title challenger Emelianenko, and he has been perfect inside the Bellator cage, with seven victories and no defeats to his name since joining the promotion.

Former ACB champion Tokov’s most recent victory – a first-round finish of Muhammad Abdullah – came on the same night Eblen defeated Mousasi for the middleweight title. Now the pair will face off for the gold at the iconic Los Angeles venue, The Kia Forum, on February 4.

Bellator 290: Confirmed Bouts


  • Ryan Bader (c) vs. Fedor Emelianenko – for heavyweight title
  • Johnny Eblen (c) vs. Anatoly Tokov – for middleweight title
  • Sabah Homasi vs. Brennan Ward


  • Neiman Gracie vs. Michael Lombardo
  • Jaylon Bates vs. Jornel Lugo
  • Henry Corrales vs. Akhmed Magomedov
  • Grant Neal vs. Karl Albrektsson
  • Chris Gonzalez vs. Max Rohskopf
  • Alejandra Lara vs. Diana Avsaragova
  • Ethan Hughes vs. Yusuf Karakaya