Even the allure of a Fedor Emelianenko-Frank Mir headliner wasn’t enough to give Bellator a major ratings boost for its most recent card.
According to ShowBuzz Daily, Bellator 198 drew an average audience of 581,000 viewers to Paramount Network for its event held at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., this past Saturday night. The card also aired on CMT, drawing 169,000 viewers to that network.
That is a higher figure than the promotion’s last five offerings of 2018, none of which exceeded 476,000 viewers on Paramount. Bellator 198 is not, however, the highest rated card of the year. That honor goes to Bellator 192, which averaged 770,000 viewers for a bill that featured a heavyweight grand prix bout between Chael Sonnen and Quinton Jackson and a welterweight title bout between Rory MacDonald and Douglas Lima.
Bellator 198 was headlined by a heavyweight grand prix clash between Emelianenko and Mir, which Emelianenko won via knockout 48 seconds into the opening stanza. In the co-main event, Emmanuel Sanchez submitted “The Ultimate Fighter” veteran Sam Sicilia with a triangle choke in the first round. The main card also included the debut of decorated grappler Dillon Danis, who tapped out Kyle Walker with a toe hold 1:38 into the opening period of their catchweight fight.