938,000 viewers tuned in to watch the Bellator Fighting Championships’ Spike TV debut on Thursday night, network officials announced Friday.

The figure marks a sharp viewership increase from Bellator’s past seasons on MTV2, which averaged between 155,000 and 230,000 viewers over the span of about 21 months. Spike TV -- the longtime broadcast partner of The Ultimate Fighting Championship -- is available in about 98 million homes, while MTV2 is available in roughly 80 million, according to an industry source.

According to Spike TV president Kevin Kay, viewership peaked at 1.2 million for the opening 15 minutes of the broadcast, and an audience of 1.1 million witnessed the featherweight title bout between Pat Curran and Patricio Freire. 950,000 viewers saw Michael Chandler defend his lightweight strap against Rick Hawn later in the evening.

Bellator 85 took place at the UCI Bren Center in Irvine, Calif., and was headlined by a lightweight title confrontation between Chandler and Rick Hawn. Chandler put forth arguably the best performance of his young career, as the 26-year-old strangled Hawn with a second-round rear-naked choke to retain his belt.

The result marked the second successful title defense of the evening, as Curran kicked off the Spike TV broadcast by taking a hard-fought split decision over Freire. The evening’s main draw also saw Mikhail Zayats and Jacob Noe advance to the Season 8 light heavyweight tournament semifinals by earning first-round technical knockouts over UFC veterans Renato Sobral and Seth Petruzelli.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Bellator hopes return of Fedor Emelianenko means reaching two million viewers mark

  • 5 days ago
  • 4 views

That would make it two in a row for “tentpole” events that have crossed the two million mark in peak ratings if Bellator 172 can get there during the Fedor Emelianenko-Matt Mitrione main event on Spi read news >>

Bellator 172 One to Watch: Josh Koscheck vs. Mauricio Alonso | FIGHTLAND

  • 5 days ago
  • 12 views

Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC Its operations improving under President Scott Coker, Bellator 172 sees the promotion return to the former home of Strikeforce—the SAP Center, otherwise known as “The S read news >>

Video: Bellator 172 media day face-offs, including the return of Fedor Emelianenko

  • 5 days ago
  • 8 views

SAN JOSE, Calif. – The legendary Fedor Emelianenko returns to the U.S. for the first time in more than five years for Saturday’s Bellator 172 event, where he meets fellow heavyweight Matt Mitrione.Fi read news >>

Fedor Emelianenko and Matt Mitrione Staredown Ahead of Bellator 172 (video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 5 days ago
  • 17 views

Fedor Emelianenko and Matt Mitrione squared off ahead of their Bellator 172 showdown, which takes place on Saturday in San Jose, Calif. read news >>

Video: Bellator President Scott Coker media scrum ahead of Bellator 172

  • 5 days ago
  • 3 views

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Bellator President Scott Coker today addressed the media ahead of this weekend’s Bellator 172 event, and you can check out the full video.Filed under: Bellator, Featured, Featured read news >>

Patricky Freire: I'm the first dangerous opponent for Josh Thomson in Bellator

  • 5 days ago
  • 5 views

The opportunity for a big rebound victory at Bellator 172 is there for Patricky Freire, who believes he presents a challenge that Josh Thomson has never encountered in Bellator.Filed under: Bellator, read news >>

Josh Thomson Only Wants to Fight in San Jose (Bellator 172 Video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 5 days ago
  • 5 views

Josh Thompson knows that he's in the twilight of his career and only wants to fight in San Jose from here on out in meaningful fights. read news >>

The MMA Road Show with John Morgan No. 99 – San Jose: Bellator 172 preview featuring Matt Mitrione, Josh Thomson

  • 5 days ago
  • 2 views

Episode No. 99 of “The MMA Road Show with John Morgan” podcast, featuring Matt Mitrione and Josh Thomson, is now available for streaming and download.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

What version of Fedor Emelianenko can we expect at Bellator 172? Fellow fighters offer their predictions

  • 4 days ago
  • 51 views

It’s been more than five years since former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko fought on U.S. soil, and that was only to wrap up a run of three consecutive losses.Filed under: Bellator, Fea read news >>

Watch the Bellator 172: Fedor vs. Mitrione Weigh-In Live at 8 PM ET | MMAWeekly.com

  • 4 days ago
  • 105 views

Watch the Bellator 172: Fedor vs. Mitrione weigh-in streaming live on Friday at 8 p.m. ET. read news >>