The UFC 154 preliminary card averaged 980,000 viewers during Saturday’s broadcast on the FX network, while Bellator 81 drew 149,000 observers the night prior on MTV2.
Sherdog.com verified the viewership figures with an industry source on Tuesday. UFC 154 took place at the Bell Centre in Montreal and was headlined by a welterweight title unification bout between returning champion Georges St. Pierre and interim belt holder Carlos Condit. St. Pierre retained his title to close the show, surviving a third-round knockdown to take a unanimous decision from “The Natural Born Killer.”
The show’s two-hour preliminary card broadcast featured four contests and saw Cyrille Diabate, John Makdessi and Antonio Carvalho pick up wins over Chad Griggs, Sam Stout and Rodrigo Damm, respectively. The undercard also featured a controversial finish, as Alessio Sakara was disqualified for landing repeated hammerfists to the back of Patrick Cote’s head.
The UFC 154 viewership number falls in the middle of the pack for the promotion’s preliminary card broadcasts on FX and represents a slight decline from the UFC 153 showing, which averaged 1 million viewers last month. The network high was set by the UFC 148 prelims, which netted 1.8 million observers on July 7.
Meanwhile, Bellator 81 just edged the previous week’s installment, which averaged 148,000 viewers on MTV2. The Friday-night event, which took place at the Ryan Center in Kingston, R.I., was highlighted by Marcin Held’s second-round submission victory over UFC veteran Rich Clementi to advance to the Season 7 lightweight tournament finals. The Polish prospect will now meet fellow finalist Dave Jansen, who took a hard-fought split decision win over well-rounded Brazilian Ricardo Tirloni in the evening’s co-main event.