The Bellator 170 headliner between UFC veterans Tito Ortiz and Chael Sonnen averaged 1.85 million viewers, making the most viewed fight on Spike TV in nearly a year.
Spike TV officials on Tuesday released ratings figures from the event, which took place on Saturday night at the Forum in Los Angeles. In what he says is his final mixed martial arts appearance, Ortiz defeated Sonnen via rear-naked choke 2:03 into the opening stanza of their light heavyweight clash. Ortiz vs. Sonnen is the most watched MMA fight on television thus far in 2017.
The Bellator 170 headliner did not, however, top ratings figures from Bellator 149 last February, which peaked at 2.5 million viewers between the late Kimbo Slice and Dhafir "Dada 5000" Harris. It also failed to surpass Ortiz’s second promotional appearance, which peaked at 2 million viewers for his unanimous decision triumph against Stephan Bonnar at Bellator 131 in November 2014.
All told, Bellator 170 averaged 1.4 million viewers, making it the third-most watched card in promotion history, according to a release. The card, which ranked No. 1 among viewers 18 to 49 in that cable television timeslot, also saw Paul Daley knock out Brennan Ward with a flying knee in the evening’s co-headliner. Additionally, the prelims streamed on Bellator.com and the Bellator mobile app drew the second most viewers in organization history behind only Bellator 149.