Bellator 51: Despite stellar show, ratings near all-time low


Bellator Fighting Championships turned up the heat this past weekend with one of the most exciting and evenly matched events in the promotion's history with the debut of the stacked season five bantamweight tournament.

Too bad it aired at the same time as UFC 135, the night of a much-hyped UFC light heavyweight title bout.

The upstart promotion was likely hoping that they would be a free alternative to the UFC pay-per-view event, but instead it appears that many MMA fans simply chose to ignore them.

MMANation brings the word that this past Saturday's Bellator 51 garnered just 158,000 viewers -- the fourth worst showing since the promotion partnered with MTV2.

Granted, that's at least an improvement over last week's abysmal 114,000 viewers which was an all-time record low for the promotion.

We'll compare how these ratings stack up to past events after the jump.

Bellator 44: 325,000 viewers
Bellator 47: 277,000 viewers
Bellator 45: 264,000 viewers
Bellator 49: 235,000 viewers
Bellator 36: 230,000 viewers
Bellator 48: 226,000 viewers
Bellator 40: 218,000 viewers
Bellator 35: 200,000 viewers
Bellator 42: 199,000 viewers
Bellator 46: 185,000 viewers
Bellator 43: 182,000 viewers
Bellator 39: 174,000 viewers
Bellator 37: 173,000 viewers
Bellator 51: 158,000 viewers
Bellator 38: 150,000 viewers
Bellator 41: 132,000 viewers
Bellator 50: 114,000 viewers

Bellator set a ratings record this past May with the season four lightweight tournament finals which also featured a "superfight" for middleweight champion Hector Lombard. Ratings were strong this offseason with the special featherweight "Summer Series" and things looked great for them when season five debuted with 235,000 viewers.

The recent run of weekly UFC events airing simultaneously as Bellator will end after October 8, so the promotion may finally be able to catch a break, but until then, they're likely in store for similar results.

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