It was a solid weekend for the top two MMA promotions in the world.
Bellator 192 and UFC 220 was a big hit on network television. The prelims for UFC 220 averaged 905,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1, which aired from 8-10 p.m.
On the flip side, the main card of Bellator 192 was shown from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and averaged 770,000 viewers on Paramount Network with an additional 161,000 viewers for a simulcast on CMT.
These numbers come to a grand total of 931,000 viewers. Thus, Bellator beat out the UFC this past weekend.
Bellator 192 was headlined by Chael Sonnen scoring a win over Rampage Jackson in a first-round heavyweight championship tournament bout and co-headlined by Rory MacDonald’s welterweight title win over Douglas Lima.
By looking back at the history books, this marked the promotion’s most-watched show since last January when Sonnen fought Tito Ortiz, which pulled in 1,374,000 viewers on Spike alone.
Here come the interesting news and notes. UFC 220 prelims dropped in viewership once Bellator 192 went live.
Keep in mind that the show peaked at 1,048,000 viewers for the Ortiz vs. Pantoja fight, which was just the second bout on the four bout card on FS1.
The belief going into the weekend from the media and fight fans was that Bellator actually had the better card but UFC 220 had two stellar main events that people wanted to see.
To get to the point, most people were likely to watch the Bellator main card until the co and main events that UFC had to deliver on PPV or they would watch the Bellator card live and record UFC 220 to watch it later.
The most-watched fight of the night was the Sonnen vs. Jackson bout that pulled in 1 million viewers on Paramount and another 200,000 on CMT.
Based on the press release that the Viacom owned promotion sent out this week, the highest point of Sonnen vs. Jackson hit 1,340,000 viewers.