Without Fedor vs Mitrione,UFC Fight Night 105 Draws More Viewers Than Bellator 172

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Had Matt Mitrione not been forced pulled out Bellator 172 due to the most unfortunate kidney stones in MMA history, Bellator likely would have drawn more viewers UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Browne this weekend.

The numbers were delayed due to President’s Day on Monday, but now it’s official — Bellator failed to hit a home run this weekend. The Viacom-backed company didn’t strike out, but they didn’t even tie the Ultimate Fighting Championship in viewership on a night when the deck was stacked in their favor. The number was good, but it should have been great.

Hours before the event was set to go live, it was announced that ‘The Last Emperor’ Fedor Emelianenko would not be fighting Mitrione as originally scheduled because of ‘Meathead’s’ aforementioned medical issues. Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire vs. Josh Thomson was promoted to the main event, and although the bout delivered in the cage, it wasn’t what the fans tuned in to watch.

Bellator went head-to-head with College Basketball and the second hour of NBA All Star Weekend festivities on Saturday Night, but that was it as far as direct sports competition. On another night they might have had to worry about UFC counter programming them, but Fight Night 105 was already planned for the next night (Sunday) in Halifax with a main event of Derrick Lewis vs. Travis Browne that was largely overshadowed by ‘The Last Emperor’s’ return to the United States against Mitrione.

Even though the UFC aired opposite The Walking Dead and the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night, which each drew 11 million and 6.5 million viewers respectively, the six-fight main card managed to draw around 900,000. Spike TV is available in roughly 9 million more homes than FS1.

The 800k number was still a good number for Bellator, but is a disappointment considering what could have been. Bellator ranked #20 for original telecasts on the 18th:

Every fight on the main card was memorable in its own right and ‘Pitbull’ Freire put on an exciting performance against Josh Thomson in the impromptu main event, knocking the UFC veteran out cold in the second round, but that fight continues to be overshadowed by Mitrione’s removal from the event and whether or not the Fedor fight will eventually come to fruition.

Bellator MMA offered refunds to ticket holders at their point of purchase, as many fans had traveled from around the world to see Fedor’s return. Through no fault of their own, Scott Coker’s organization missed a huge opportunity on Saturday night to put on one of the biggest shows on company history.

With Mitrione unwilling to sit out for an extended period of time, will Fedor vs. Mitrione come together after its last minute cancellation in San Jose, or will ‘Meathead’ find another opponent at heavyweight in the near future?


 Bellator 172 Main Card Results

PATRICKY FREIRE DEF. JOSH THOMSON VIA KNOCKOUT (PUNCHES) – ROUND 2, 0:40

CHEICK KONGO DEF. OLI THOMPSON VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-26, 30-25, 30-25)

ANATOLY TOKOV DEF. FRANCISCO FRANCE VIA TKO (STRIKES) – ROUND 2, 2:24

VETA ARTEAGA DEF. BROOKE MAYO VIA TKO (DOCTOR STOPPAGE) – ROUND 3, 4:04

MAURICIO ALONSO DEF. JOSH KOSCHECK VIA TKO (PUNCHES) – ROUND 1, 4:42