Bellator 290 pre-event facts: Fedor Emelianenko can make history in final fight
Bellator kicks off its 2023 schedule on Saturday with a landmark event in company history. Bellator 290, which takes place at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., marks the company’s main card network debut on CBS, which follows prelims streamed on MMA Junkie.
A championship doubleheader is set to headline the card. In the main event, Ryan Bader (30-7 MMA, 8-2 BMMA) will put his heavyweight title fight against MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko (40-6 MMA, 4-2 BMMA), who is set to retire from MMA competition. The pair previously met at Bellator 214 in January 2019, with Bader scoring a 35-second TKO victory.
The co-headliner of the card, meanwhile, will see middleweight champion Johnny Eblen (12-0 MMA, 8-0 BMMA) attempt to make his first title defense when he welcomes challenger Anatoly Tokov (31-2 MMA, 7-0 BMMA), who has lost just once over the past 11 years.
For more on the numbers behind the event, check below for MMA Junkie’s pre-event facts for Bellator 290.
Bader became the first simultaneous two-division champion in Bellator history when he won at Bellator 214 in January 2019.
Bader is the only champion in Bellator history to register title defenses in two weight classes.
Bader is one of two simultaneous two-division champions in Bellator history. Patricio Freire also accomplished the feat.
Bader is one of three fighters in Bellator history to win titles in two weight classes. Freire and Joe Warren also accomplished the feat.
Bader’s three consecutive title defenses are tied with Vadim Nemkov for second-most among current Bellator champions behind Cris Cyborg (four).
Bader is 5-0 (with one no contest) since he moved up to the heavyweight division in May 2018.
Bader’s six-fight Bellator unbeaten streak in heavyweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.
Bader competes in the fifth rematch of his career. He’s previous 4-0 when facing an opponent for the second time.
Emelianenko, 46, is the oldest active fighter on the Bellator roster.
Emelianenko, at 46, can become the oldest champion in Bellator history.
Emelianenko is 6-2 since he returned from his first retirement in December 2015.
Emelianenko is 9-2 (with one no contest) in his career when facing former UFC champions.
Emelianenko has earned 32 of his 40 career victories by stoppage.
Emelianenko has earned all four of his Bellator victories by first-round knockout.
Emelianenko’s four knockout victories in Bellator heavyweight competition are tied for third-most in divisional history behind Tyrell Fortune (eight) and Vitaly Minakov (five).
Eblen’s eight-fight Bellator winning streak at middleweight is the longest active streak in the division.
Eblen has earned six of his eight Bellator victories by decision.
Tokov’s seven-fight Bellator winning streak in middleweight competition is the second-longest active streak in the division behind Eblen (eight).
Tokov is 24-1 in his past 25 fights dating back to April 2012.
Tokov has earned 24 of his 31 career victories by stoppage. That includes five of his seven Bellator wins.
Sabah Homasi vs. Brennan Ward
[autotag]Sabah Homasi[/autotag] (17-10 MMA, 5-4 BMMA) has earned 14 of his 17 career victories by stoppage.
[autotag]Brennan Ward[/autotag] (16-6 MMA, 11-6 BMMA) has earned 15 of his 16 career victories by stoppage.
Ward’s 11 stoppage victories in Bellator competition are tied for fifth-most in company history.
Neiman Gracie vs. Dante Schiro
[autotag]Neiman Gracie[/autotag] (11-4 MMA, 9-4 BMMA) enters the event on the first losing skid of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since September 2021.
Gracie is 8-4 since he dropped to the welterweight division in February 2015.
Gracie’s seven submission victories in Bellator competition are tied with A.J. McKee for second-most in company history behind Goiti Yamauchi (nine).
Gracie’s six submission victories in Bellator welterweight competition are most in divisional history.
Lorenz Larkin vs. Mukhamed Berkhamov
[autotag]Lorenz Larkin[/autotag] (24-7 MMA, 6-2 BMMA) is 7-3 with one no contest since he dropped to the welterweight division in January 2015.
Larkin’s five-fight Bellator unbeaten streak at welterweight is tied for the third-longest longest active streak in the division behind Amosov (six) and Davis (six).
Steve Mowry vs. Ali Isaev
[autotag]Steve Mowry[/autotag]’s (10-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) seven-fight Bellator unbeaten streak at heavyweight is the longest active streak in the division.
Mowry’s six victories in Bellator heavyweight competition are tied for third-most in divisional history behind Cheick Kongo (13) and Fortune (12).
Mowry has earned all 10 of his career victories by stoppage.
Mowry’s six stoppage victories in Bellator heavyweight competition are tied for second-most in divisional history behind Fortune (nine).
Mowry’s four submission victories in Bellator heavyweight competition are most in divisional history.
Diana Avsaragova vs. Alejandra Lara
[autotag]Diana Avsaragova[/autotag] (5-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) three-fight Bellator winning streak at women’s flyweight is tied for the third-longest active streak in the division behind Liz Carmouche (five) and Sumiko Inaba (five).
[autotag]Alejandra Lara[/autotag]’s (9-6 MMA, 3-5 BMMA) three-fight losing skid is the longest of her career. She hasn’t earned a victory since December 2019.
Darrion Caldwell vs. Nikita Mikhailov
[autotag]Darrion Caldwell[/autotag]’s (15-6 MMA, 12-5 BMMA) three-fight losing skid is the longest of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since January 2020.
Caldwell is 2-5 in his past seven fights dating back to December 2018.
Caldwell’s three submission victories in Bellator bantamweight competition are third-most in divisional history behind Patchy Mix (four) and Jaylon Bates (four).
Jaylon Bates vs. Jornel Lugo
autotag]Jaylon Bates[/autotag]’ (6-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) six-fight Bellator winning streak at bantamweight is the second-longest active streak in the division behind Raufeon Stots (seven).
Bates’ four stoppage victories in Bellator bantamweight competition are tied with Mix and Eduardo Dantas for most in divisional history.
Bates’ four submission victories in Bellator bantamweight competition are tied with Mix for most in divisional history.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Bellator 290.