The TV ratings are in for an extremely busy night of combat sports action on Saturday, which saw both the UFC and Bellator host events at the same time.
UFC Fight Night 100: Bader Vs Nogueira drew an average of 769,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1 and pulled in 823,000 viewers during the main event, though the peak rating of 881,000 actually came during a woman’s fight between Cortney Casey and Claudia Gadelha a couple of fights earlier.
That was enough to outdo Bellator 165: Chandler Vs Henderson, which averaged 597,000 viewers and peaked at 744,000 viewers during the headlining title fight.
Bellator’s average was closer to the UFC Fight Night 100 prelims earlier in the evening on FS1, which drew 532,000 viewers.
The UFC also beat out Bellator in the key 18-49 demographic, though not by much, with UFC Fight Night 100 doing 374,000 viewers compared to Bellator 165’s 307,000.
Ignoring the promotional comparisons for a moment, UFC Fight Night 100 was down from the 860,000 average UFC Fight Night 98: Ferguson Vs Dos Anjos enjoyed a couple of weeks ago.
That’s perhaps not too surprising given that UFN 98’s main event was more relevant, featuring an in-form title contender against a recently dethroned champion, while UFN 100 led with a rematch that nobody had been asking for with no title implications.
As for Bellator, Saturday’s show continued a worrying trend of four events in a row that have dipped under the 600,000 mark.
Given that two of those show have included marquee signings, light-heavyweight champion Phil Davis and former UFC lightweight title holder Ben Henderson, that’s got to be a big disappointment for the promotion, though Bellator 165 may have dug them out of that rut if it hadn’t been for the fact they were going up against the UFC.