After a solid debut on MTV2 last week that was watched by an average of 200,000 viewers, Bellator 36 on Saturday night produced an upturn in the ratings.

The show, which featured the quarter-finals of Bellator’s season 4 lightweight tournament was watched by an average of 230,000 viewers live, and impressively then managed a further 241,000 for an immediate replay.

The replay is particularly noteworthy, showing a jump of 90% over the previous week’s 127,000 viewers, heping to bolster the total number of viewers watching Saturday’s event to 471,000.

The increased audience is good news, though the fact that Bellator were facing no major competition from either the UFC or Strikeforce at the weekend could explain the results (last week their season premiere went head-to-head with Strikeforce: Feijao Vs Henderson on Showtime).

Next Saturday’s ratings will also be worth looking out for since Bellator 37 will take place on the same night as UFC 128: Shogun Vs Jones.

Bellator will move their show forward to earlier in the evening to ensure they don’t go head-to-head with the PPV event, and hope that MMA fans will tune in to Bellator first and then switch over to the UFC, making Saturday an evening of MMA entertainment.

While a nice idea in theory, the problem is that recently the UFC have began showing preliminary fights live on both Facebook and Spike TV prior to their main cards, and indeed that is the case for UFC 128.

Therefore this is likely to be Bellator’s toughest test yet on the ratings front.