Who the heck wants to watch washed up Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar (both pictured) fight? Two million people, that’s who.
According to Bellator MMA, Saturday’s Bellator 131 event drew 1.8 million viewers, peaking at 2 million, making it the most-watched and highest–rated MMA fight on cable television in 2014.
“Bellator 131 was an incredible event that had something for everybody, and I’m thrilled to see our efforts were so well-received by our fans,” said Bellator president Scott Coker. “I’m very proud of our entire Bellator and Spike family for all of the hard work they put resulting in these record-breaking ratings. The most exciting thing for me is the knowledge that that we are just getting started, and I can’t wait for everyone to see what we have in store for the future.”
The Ortiz-Bonnar scrap ranked #2 in its timeslot in all of cable with Men 18-34 and Men 18-49.
Here is Bellator 131’s ratings breakdown:
Bellator 131 – Ortiz vs. Bonnar – 11:50PM ET/8:50PM PT
1.8 million viewers
Bellator 131 – 10:11PM ET/7:11PM PT
1.3 million viewers
Bellator 131 – 9PM ET/6PM PT
Overall, the entire fight card (9PM ET/6PM PT-12:16AM ET/9:16PM PT) delivered 1,241,299 viewers, a record for Bellator MMA on Spike TV.
This is a significant win for Bellator, who went head-on with UFC 180 and World Series of Fighting 15. UFC 180 Prelims on Fox Sports 1 captured 624,000 viewers, while WSOF did 179,000 on NBC Sports Network.
UFC 180’s pay-per-view broadcast began at 10PM ET/7PM PT.
Bellator 131 reportedly did well on social media, as well. According to Tuesday’s press release, it was the most tweeted Bellator event in Spike history. Its reach on Facebook and the associated video views were also record highs for Bellator.