Vadim Nemkov vs. Yoel Romero scrapped from Bellator 290,  current champion added to co-main event slot

By Josh Evanoff - December 27, 2022

Bellator 290’s main card has lost a champion but gained another.


On February 4th, Fedor Emelianenko will fight for the final time against Ryan Bader. The bout is actually a rematch of their prior encounter at Bellator 214. In their January 2019 fight, ‘Darth’ scored a first-round knockout win over the legend.

Since then, ‘The Last Emperor’ scored highlight-reel wins over ‘Rampage’ Jackson, as well as Timothy Johnson. Following that latter victory, Emeliananeko called for a rematch with Bader for his final fight. It seems that he will indeed get his wish.

The card is an important one not only for the two heavyweights, but Bellator as a whole. The event is currently slated to be broadcast on CBS, which will be the promotion’s debut on the network. It’ll also be the first time that CBS has broadcast MMA since 2010.

Due to the importance of the card, Bellator is seemingly trying to add some big names. The co-main event was first expected to feature light-heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov vs. Yoel Romero. ‘Soldier of God’ had earned back-to-back knockout wins to get the title shot.

Yoel Romero, Ja

Image via @ufc on Instagram (photographer not listed)

Sadly, the light-heavyweight title bout will have to wait. As announced by promotional officials earlier today, Nemkov has been forced out of the fight due to an injury. The matchup is expected to be rebooked for a future event.

However, a different champion has been added to the event in the form of Johnny Eblen. ‘The Human Cheat Code’ earned the middleweight title with a dominant decision win over Gegard Mousasi in June to move to 11-0.

He will now look to make his first title defense in February against Anatoly Tokov. The Russian is currently riding a seven-fight winning streak, having defeated names such as Gerald Harris and Alexander Shlemenko in that stretch.

What do you make of this news? Are you excited about the event? Sound off in the comment section below PENN Nation!


Bellator Vadim Nemkov Yoel Romero