Bellator MMA will be making their network television debut on CBS this February.
LOS ANGELES – CBS Television Network and BELLATOR MMA jointly announced today that the first BELLATOR event of 2023 will air on CBS, America’s most-watched television network. The announcement marks the first network television event for BELLATOR, one of the world’s leading mixed martial arts promotions.
The event will be headlined by undisputed Heavyweight World Champion Ryan Bader (30-7, 1 NC) defending his title against MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko (40-6, 1 NC) in a rematch of their 2019 Heavyweight World Grand Prix bout.
In the co-main event, a second title will be up for grabs as No. 4- ranked light heavyweight Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero (15-6) will challenge the winner of tonight’s BELLATOR 288 main event between 205-pound World Champion Vadim Nemkov (15-2, 1 NC) and No. 1-ranked challenger Corey Anderson (16-5, 1 NC).
BELLATOR 290: Bader vs. Fedor 2 takes place on Saturday, February 4, 2023, from the Kia Forum in Inglewood, California.
The main card will air live beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on the CBS Television Network and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*.
BELLATOR, CBS and Paramount+ are all owned by Paramount.
*Paramount+ Premium subscribers will have access to stream live via the live feed of their local CBS affiliate on the service as well as on demand. Essential-tier subscribers of Paramount+ and SHOWTIME subscribers will have access to on-demand following the live presentation.
The last live broadcast of mixed martial arts on CBS was in 2010 from STRIKEFORCE, a global MMA promotion founded by BELLATOR President Scott Coker. The network aired five MMA events in total from 2008 – 2010.
In their initial matchup at the same arena on Jan. 26, 2019, Bader captured the 265-pound crown by defeating Emelianenko in just 35 seconds during the finale of the BELLATOR Heavyweight World Grand Prix. After flooring the Russian icon by landing a devastating left hand to Emelianenko’s head, Bader followed up with a barrage of punches before referee Mike Beltran stopped the contest.
“We have been working tirelessly on growing this brand into the global powerhouse it is today and a primetime slot on CBS has always been one of our key objectives,” said Coker. “With a healthy roster full of many of the world’s very best fighters, along with elite up-and-coming prospects and legends of the game, I’m very excited to showcase this event on the most watched network in America.”
Tickets for BELLATOR 290: Bader vs. Fedor 2 will go on sale Friday, Dec. 2, with a special presale starting Wednesday, Nov. 30.
Additional bouts for both the main and preliminary fight cards to be announced.