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Yoel Romero vs. Vadim Nemkov cancelled, Bellator 290 gets new co-main event

Yoel Romero vs. Vadim Nemkov has been pulled from Bellator 290, and the new co-main event is Johnny Eblen vs. Anatoly Tokov. 

Yoel Romero vs. Vadim Nemkov has been pulled from Bellator 290
Yoel Romero vs. Vadim Nemkov has been pulled from Bellator 290
Photo By Sam Barnes/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Bellator 290 on February 4, 2023 was supposed to see Vadim Nemkov defend his light heavyweight belt against Yoel Romero in the co-main event, but now, a middleweight title fight between the champion, Johnny Eblen, and his challenger, Anatoly Tokov, will be taking its place.

The Bellator promotion just released the news without disclosing a reason for Nemkov pulling out. Vadim just successfully defended his 205-pound belt against Corey Anderson back in November, pulling out a unanimous decision after their first match resulted in a No Contest back in April. As for Romero, he wiped out Alex Polizzi in may of this year, and then retired Melvin Manhoef in September to earn a shot at the belt. The 45-year-old Yoel will now have to wait longer for his chance at Bellator gold.

It sucks that we lost that matchup, but at least it has been replaced with another high quality-high stakes contest in Johnny Eblen vs. Anatoly Tokov. Bellator’s undefeated middleweight champion posted up seven straight wins for the promotion before challenging and defeating the former champ, Gegard Mousasi, back in March of this year. Standing across from him will be an absolute killer in Anatoly Tokov. This is one of Fedor’s guys, who has won all seven of his matches since joining the Bellator brand. If there was ever a perfect replacement for Nemkov vs. Romero, it’s this fight.

Airing on CBS, Bellator 290 is set to take place from the Kia Forum in Inglewood, California and will capped off with a heavyweight title fight rematch between the current king, Ryan Bader, and the legend that he already holds a win over, Fedor Emelianenko. It has been said that win or lose, this will be Fedor’s retirement bout. Also scheduled for the night will be the likes of Neiman Gracie taking on Michael Lombardo, plus a wild action fight between two knockout artists in Sabah Homasi and Brennan Ward.