It turns out, Tito Ortiz’s fractured neck was a blessing in disguise for Bellator MMA. After Ortiz’s abrupt exit from Saturday’s main event against fellow former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, the card went from a potential pay-per-view flop to “the most-watched mixed martial [arts] event on television this fall” after transitioning to Spike TV.
According to Spike, Saturday’s “Bellator 106: Chandler vs. Alvarez II” event captured 1.1 million viewers, peaking at 1.4 million during the featured attraction between Eddie Alvarez (pictured) and Michael Chandler.
The Viacom-owned network states the show was the most-watched MMA event to hit free TV this fall (34 whole days). These are record-setting numbers for Bellator on Spike.
The telecast also ranked #2 in its timeslot among Men 18-49.
For those of you who DVR’d the broadcast, only to realize you didn’t extended the recording long enough because the show ran much longer than anticipated, Spike will re-air the main event on November 8 at 8 pm ET/PT, prior to Bellator 107.
Alvarez successfully avenged his submission loss to Chandler in their highly-anticipated rematch. It’s hard to believe, but Part II was just as good as their instant classic two years ago.
The doors are now blasted wide open for MMA’s biggest trilogy outside of the UFC, which will likely take place on pay-per-view.
Immediately after Alvarez upset Chandler to reclaim his throne, presumably throwing a wrench in Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney’s long-term plans as he was seen shaking his head in disapproval after the split decision verdict was rendered, UFC president Dana White wrote on Twitter, “I’m hearing Djork oops Bjork got served a big fat plate of Karma tonight 🙂 Congrats Eddie!!”
Based off the numbers released today, karma must taste pretty damn good to Rebney.