Ratings are in Bellator 149 and it appears that fans like a good freak show. The 3 plus hour show beat the previous record for the promotion by nearly 25%, averaging 1,964,000 viewers. The show was, of course, headlined by the double main event of Ken Shamrock vs Royce Gracie 3 and Kimbo Slice vs Dada 5000.
The previous record for Bellator MMA on Spike also involved Slice and Shamrock as last June’s event, where they fought each other, averaged 1,580,000 viewers. Friday’s number was also more than double the amount of the last two Bellator tentpole shows that aired on Spike in September (800,000) and November (814,000).
The peak rating for the event came during the 3 round debacle that was Kimbo v Dada at 2.5 million viewers. The main event featuring Royce Gracie scoring a questionable TKO over Shamrock in the first round did 2.4 million.
Fights involving Slice have now set records for Elite XC (6.5 million vs James Thompson), UFC (5.3 million for a taped fight with Roy Nelson) and Bellator. Years after making his name as a YouTube street-fighting sensation, Kimbo is still a television ratings draw. Of that, there is no question.
Of importance to advertisers, the Kimbo-Dada fight did a rating of 2.34 in Men aged 18-34. That’s almost triple what Bellator usually does and another record for the promotion.
Bellator is back on Spike TV this coming Friday with Bellator 150 emanating from Kansas and featuring a Bantamweight Title fight between Marcus Galvao and Eduardo Dantes in the main event.