Bellator Fighting Championships’ fifth-season debut reached an average of 235,000 viewers during its Saturday broadcast on MTV2, promotion officials announced on Tuesday.

Featuring the opening round of the company’s fourth welterweight tournament, Bellator 49 aired live at 9 p.m. ET from Caesars Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. The show’s immediate rebroadcast at 11 p.m. ET netted an additional 153,000 viewers, making a total of 386,000 for the four-hour block.

Bellator 49 marked the first time the Chicago-based promotion was simultaneously broadcast in high definition on premium cable network Epix, a channel not currently rated by Nielsen Media Research. Additionally, the event served as guinea pig for the promotion’s inaugural preliminary card broadcast, which streamed live on Spike.com and Bellator.com immediately prior to the MTV2 broadcast.

Featuring victories from Chris Lozano (Pictured), Ben Saunders, Luis Santos and Douglas Lima, Bellator 49 posted the fourth-greatest viewership rating out of 15 total MTV2-broadcast Bellator events in 2011. Leading the pack by a wide margin, May’s Bellator 44 sits atop that list with 325,000 viewers.

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