Bellator 149 was watched by an average of 2 million viewers this past Friday night on Spike TV.
That’s a new record for Bellator, smashing their previous best of 1.6 million which cames about just a few months ago for Bellator 138: Kimbo Vs Shamrock.
Former backyard brawler Kimbo Slice has a history of impressive TV numbers and it’s clear that despite now being 42 years-old and never having fully lived up to his fearsome street reputation in the cage, that continues to this day.
Proof of that lies in the fact that despite Kimbo Slice’s fight with fellow notorious backyard brawler ‘Dada 5000’ was the co-main event of the evening, it produced the event’s peak audience with 2.5 million viewers who witnessed an almost laughable scrap with both men gassing out by the second round.
Bellator had relied heavily on aging veterans on the card, with a trilogy fight between Royce Gracie and Shamrock – who have a combined age of 101 between them – headlining the show.
This formula proved to be a success as far as ratings go, though the end product was somwhat farcical, leading to many arguing that this kind of ‘circus show’ style event is ultimately bad for the sport.
Bellator have more to offer than just this kind of content however, having recently made some major signing of former UFC fighters like Ben Henderson and Phil Davis who are still performing at the highest level, and the hope is that they can leverage some of the new viewers they’ve found to watch these more relevant stars in the future.