Hey, remember back in April when Combate Americas trounced Bellator MMA in the television ratings and all the Doubting Thomases were like, “Blah-blah-blah, let’s see you do that again.”
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you “Copa Combate,” which took place on Dec. 7 from inside Save Mart Center in Fresno, California.
The promotion’s second-annual, year-end extravaganza featured a one-night, eight-man featherweight tournament that was captured by 145-pound wrecking ball, Andres Quintana. Yes, the same “Bullet” who already declared himself champion back in May.
Now he’s got a big-ass trophy to prove it.
Quintana’s destruction of three consecutive featherweights earned him the title of baddest man in Latin America, and scored a whopping 4.3 million viewers for Combate Americas, thanks to live broadcasts on Univision and Univision Deportes in the United States, as well as Azteca 7 in Mexico.
Not too shabby for a start time of midnight ET.
“Copa Combate has the biggest trophy in sports, and now has the biggest audience,” said Combate Americas CEO Campbell McLaren. “This year’s tournament truly highlighted the super competitive, country versus country rivalries that you see only in Combate Americas action.”
Univision and Univision Deportes pulled 451,000 viewers, including 240,000 adults in the coveted 18-49 age group. Not only did stateside viewership grab 166,000 more eyeballs than Bellator 212 on Paramount Network, it did so without the benefit of prime time programming. “Copa Combate” also finished well ahead of the Bellator MMA average for 2018 (415,000).
It should be noted the Nielsen ratings do not factor in viewership on Bellator’s streaming content partner DAZN, which simulcasts all of the Paramount telecasts.
The “Copa Combate” preliminary card on Facebook Watch delivered over 1.5 million streams.
The 3.8 million rabid fans who tuned into Azteca 7, meanwhile, pushed the featherweight tournament ahead of boxing on Telemundo by more than 50,000 viewers. It also pushed a check for $100,000 straight into Quintana’s pocket.
This had something to do with it:
Andres Quintana wins Copa Combate 2018 - 1R KO pic.twitter.com/k6oQROPKZG— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) December 8, 2018
“I am excited to see the recent growth of Combate Americas and to be a big part of the promotion, which is further indicated by Combate beating Bellator’s ratings,” Quintana told MMAmania.com, after delivering a 60-percent increase from last year’s “Copa Combate” tournament in the bantamweight division. “The Hispanic market is huge and we will continue to grow. However, in the new year, I will officially be crowned the Featherweight King and I will elevate the promotion beyond just the Hispanic market.”
See you in 2019.