Bellator 131 Draws Over 1 Million Viewers, Tito Ortiz-Stephan Bonnar Fight Averages Nearly 2 Million
By FCF Staff
Although many hardcore MMA fans criticized Bellator for booking a bout between Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar, it looks as though the match-up produced big ratings for the Viacom owned promotion.
According to a press release from the organization, Saturday’s Bellator 131 card averaged 1,241,299 viewers, which is the most ever for the promotion on Spike TV. The main event bout between Ortiz and Bonnar reportedly drew an average of 1.8 million viewers, and the broadcast peaked with an audience of 2 million people.
As a result, the Ortiz-Bonnar fight ranks as 2nd highest-rated MMA fight, with Men 18-34 and Men 18-49, including broadcast, 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,” Bellator President Scott Coker was quoted saying in the announcement. “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.”
Ortiz went on to earn a split decision over Bonnar in the headliner. The bout was heavily promoted as a grudge match by Bellator and Spike, after Ortiz and Bonnar had a highly publicized, in cage, fight announcement that nearly resulted in a brawl several months back.
The November 15th card also featured Will Brooks securing the lightweight title, by stopping former champ Michael Chandler.