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Why is CBS showing MMA instead of Blue Bloods and NCIS on Crimetime Saturday

Bellator is making its network TV debut on Saturday, February 4.

Champion Ryan Bader (L) and Fedor Emelianenko (R) face off during the Bellator 290 ceremonial weigh-ins ahead of their fight on February 3, 2023, at The Westin in Los Angeles, CA. Photo by Amy Kaplan/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A lot of people enjoy the CBS Crimetime Saturday lineup to get in some reruns of shows like Blue Bloods and NCIS. However, on Saturday, February 14, those fans are in for a surprise. CBS is airing a Bellator MMA card, which marks the first time the MMA organization has aired on network TV.

The card is fairly notable with undisputed heavyweight champion Ryan Bader (30-7, 1 NC) defending his title against long-time legend Fedor Emelianenko (40-6, 1 NC) in a rematch of their 2019 Heavyweight World Grand Prix bout. Bader is a -325 favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook while Emelianenko is a +270 underdog.

In the first bout, Bader won in 35 seconds. He is 3-2-1 since that fight, struggling in the light heavyweight division, but winning his last two bouts — both this year — in the heavyweight division. Emelianenko has fought twice since the 2019 bout, beating Quinton Jackson by TKO in 2019 and beating Timothy Johnson by KO in October 2021.

The co-main event will feature a middleweight title bout between Johnny Eblen (12-0-0) and Anatoly Tokov (31-2-0). Eblen is a -280 favorite and Tokov is a +235 underdog.