WEDNESDAY NEWS DIGEST 7/19: Bellator outdraws UFC in viewership last weekend (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

By Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch contributor

With both Bellator and UFC running low-key events last weekend without many big names, it was Bellator that was able to draw the most viewers.

The Friday night Bellator event from Thackerville, Oklahoma was headlined by a rubber match between Derek Campos and Brandon Girtz. That show averaged 514,000 viewers on Spike, peaking for the main event at 628,000 viewers.

UFC was at a disadvantage in that they were running a Sunday afternoon show rather than a typical Saturday night. The event from Glasgow headlined by Santiago Ponzinibbio knocking out Gunnar Nelson averaged 402,000 viewers on Fox Sports 1. Due to the early knockout in the main event, the broadcast actually ended at about 10 minutes to the top of the hour and peaked at 496,000 viewers, which may have contributed to the low viewership.

UFC will look to rebound in the ratings this weekend with a primetime event on Fox headlined by Chris Weidman taking on Kelvin Gastelum. UFC’s most recent event on Fox headlined by Demetrious Johnson vs. Wilson Reis in a flyweight title fight also disappointed in the ratings.

While UFC is far and away the industry leader when it comes to pay-per-view and big events, it appears the gap has narrowed when it comes to run of the mill shows.

Hiscoe’s Analysis: It’s not apples to apples because Bellator was in prime time and UFC was on a Sunday afternoon but it is interesting, and maybe even encouraging to see that Bellator can outdraw UFC when it comes to the lower level shows. What these numbers might tell us is that people would rather watch MMA in prime time rather than during the day, regardless of the promotion. It also shows that having a UFC branded show is not as valuable as it may have been in the past if it doesn’t have any name fighters on the show.


-Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier have been going back and forth on social media this week. Cormier made an Instagram post that read “I know I’m gonna dump him on his doped up head this time.” Jones then took to the comment section of the post and wrote, among other things, “Just make sure you don’t get yourself chocked [sic] out in the process of showing off these rejuvenated [sic] takedowns of yours.” Cormier then responded saying that Jones was “insecure” and “stalking me.”

-Fans can now register through Ticketmaster to purchase tickets for Mayweather vs. McGregor. You can register HERE until Thursday at 10 p.m. ET and you will receive an offer code to use when tickets go on sale on July 24.

-Last night’s Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series was another fun show with three finishes in five fights. One contract was awarded Sean O’Malley who knocked out Alfred Khaskhakyan in the first round. Check out Michael Grocke’s review of the show HERE.

-Former UFC fighter Cody Pfister was arrested over the weekend for assault according to the Amarillo Globe. Pfister allegedly was in an argument with a woman at a restaurant and she locked him out of the house when they returned home. Pfister then allegedly forced his way into the house and pinned the woman against the wall, shaking her. (SOURCE)

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: TUESDAY NEWS DIGEST 7/18: Conor McGregor’s father defends son against racism accusations, Anderson Silva challenge, more (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

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