Tito Ortiz fought the final fight of his storied career on Saturday, submitting Chael Sonnen in the opening round of their Bellator 170 headliner. The bout drew significant viewership, which propelled the event to third most-watched in franchise history.
The main event, according to Spike officials, peaked at 1.85 million viewers, who witnessed Ortiz apply a fight-ending choke on Sonnen that became a firestorm of controversy after many questioned its legitimacy. It was the most-watched Bellator fight on Spike since February of 2016.
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Overall, Bellator 170 averaged 1.4 million viewers over the course of the broadcast, which does not include DVR +3 figures that won’t be released until Thursday.
Adding to the strength of the ratings was Paul Daley’s brutal co-main event knockout of Brennan Ward, which opened a grotesque cut around Ward’s eye and forced him to be removed from the cage via a backboard for precautionary measures. The Daley vs. Ward bout peaked at 1.7 million viewers.
Bellator 170 ranked No. 1 in the key Men 18-49 advertising demographic.
Bellator 170 also produced notable digital and social media successes, according to Spike:
- The Bellator 170 prelims drew the second most viewers on Bellator.com and Bellator mobile app in franchise history (only behind Bellator 149).
- The post-fight press conference, streamed exclusively on YouTube, saw the most concurrent viewers in Bellator history.
- #Bellator170 was the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter during the event and Tito Ortiz, Chael Sonnen, and Bellator MMA trended No. 1 on Google Trends.
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