While the MMA community thought that Bellator would soundly beat the UFC in the first ever head-to-head clash between the two companies, the ratings tell a different story.
The UFC Fight Night Connecticut main card, which took place between 10:00 PM ET – 11:58 PM ET averaged 911,000 total viewers, up 12% compared to the average of the prior 18 Fight Night events on FOX Sports 1 (814,000 viewers), and posted a .5 household rating in the 18-49 demo. The card, which featured notable fighters such as Alistair Overeem and Joe Lauzon, scored much higher than other recently UFC events including UFC Fight Night Albuquerque card (689,000) and the UFC 177 prelims (436,000).
For the entire evening (7:00 PM ET – 12:00 AM ET), FOX Sports 1 averaged an impressive 654,000 total viewers and 405,000 in the A18-49 demo.
Spike, which is in almost 8 million more homes that FS1, broadcasted Bellator 123 between 8:00pm ET -10:45pm ET and averaged a total of 667, 000 viewers for the featherweight title fight between Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire and Pat Curran. The event scored a household rating of 0.26 in the 18-49 demo.
With that said, WWE Friday Night Smackdown destroyed both MMA events, securing a 2,758,000 viewership and a 0.8 household rating in the 18-49 demo.