Bellator MMA 230 draws 202,000 on Paramount Network

October 15, 2019

Bellator MMA 230 on the Paramount Network Saturday night scored 202,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The telecast featured Rafael Carvalho as he took on Vadim Nemkov in a light heavyweight bout.  Nemkov submitted Carvalho who was making his debut at light heavyweight.  The event took place from Milan, Italy.

Bellator 230:  202,000 viewers

Bellator 229:  301,000 viewers

Bellator 227:  276,000 viewers

Bellator 226:  DAZN

Bellator 225:  285,000 viewers

Bellator 224:  325,000 viewers

Bellator 223:  386,000 viewers

Bellator 222:  DAZN

Bellator 221:  DAZN

Bellator 220:  DAZN

Bellator 219:  307,000 viewers

Bellator 218:  255,000 viewers

Bellator 217:  349,000 viewers

Bellator 216:  DAZN

Bellator 215:  365,000 viewers

Bellator 214:  697,000 viewers

(does not include DVR + 3 ratings)

Payout Perspective:

Ratings for the Bellator telecast this past Saturday were very low as has been the norm for its overseas events.  One Championship’s airing on TNT later on Saturday actually fared better.  Bellator on Paramount Network is averaging below 400,000 viewers per telecast as it seems that most viewers are tuning into DAZN to watch DAZN events rather than Paramount.

Fedor-Rampage announced for December 29 show in Japan

October 9, 2019

Bellator announced it will hold an event in Japan at the Saitama Super Arena and it will be headlined by Fedor Emelianenko taking on Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.  The official name of the event is “Bellator Japan: Fedor vs. Rampage, powered by RIZIN”.  The event takes place on December 29 on the Paramount Network in the United States.

With RIZIN’s name associated with the event, it appears that the show will be a cross promotion although its too early to speculate if there will be matches between the promotions.  The event poster does state Bellator vs. Rizin so that might answer my question.  Both, Emelianenko and Jackson made their names while in Pride and this event evokes memories of a time gone by. While you might guarantee the pomp and circumstance prior to the event, will this main event produce inside the ring?

The 43-year-old Emelianenko’s last fight was a loss this past January at Bellator 214 to Ryan Bader in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix Final.  Prior to that, Fedor had victories over Chael Sonnen and Frank Mir to advance in the grand prix.  Jackson’s last appearance was over a year ago with a win over Wanderlei Silva.  Prior to that, he was on a two-fight losing streak.

A press conference was held in Japan to announce the event.

Payout Perspective:

This event will bring back memories of Pride and many will reminisce about the times that Fedor and Rampage ruled that promotion.  But this is 2019 and we will see if these two will be ready for this event.  Will be interesting to see what type of card is put together as this seems to be in place of the usual Japan card around New Year’s Eve.

Pitbull leads Bellator 228 Payous Saturday

September 30, 2019

MMA Payout has obtained the payouts from Saturday’s Bellator event at The Forum in Inglewood, California.  Patricio Freire led the roster of payouts with $200,000.  Main eventers Gegard Mousasi and Lyoto Machida earned $150,000 each for their fight which Mousasi won via split decision.

Via the California State Athletic Commission:

James Barnes  $2,250 def

David Duran  $2,250


Joshua Jones $2,000 def

Dominic Clark $2,000

Weber Almeida  $6,000 def

Castle Williams  $2,000


Leandro Higo $14,000 def

Shawn Bunch  $13,000


Mike Jasper $10,000 def

Johnny Cisneros  $4,000

Antonio McKee $25,000 def

William Sriyapai  $5,000


Ava Knight  $10,000 def

Shannon Goughary  $3,000


Al Agazarm  $14,000 def

Jonathan Quiroz  $2,000


Ian Butler  $1,500 def

Emilio Williams  $1,200


Ozzy Diaz  $1,500 def

Andre Walker  $1,500


Benji Gomez  $1,500 def

Johnny Santa Maria  $2,000


Adrian Najera  $1,200 def

Jason Edwards  $1,200


Daniel Weichel  $40,000 def.

Saul Rogers  $20,000


Darrion Caldwell $125,000 def

Henry Corrales  $30,000


AJ McKee $50,000 def

Georgi Karakhanyan  $30,000


Patrico Freire  $200,000 def.

Juan Archuleta  $75,000


Cyborg signs with Bellator

September 3, 2019

Bellator announced the signing of Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino on Tuesday.  According to the promotion, it’s the largest contract in women’s MMA history although financial details were not disclosed.

Cyborg will compete in the women’s 145-pound weight class according to Bellator’s press release announcing the signing.  The contract is a multi-year, multi-fight contract.

Cyborg’s last fight in the UFC was this past July at UFC 240 against Felicia Spencer.  Dana White announced that it would not resign the former champion and the company waived its 90-day exclusive period for negotiating a new contract.

Payout Perspective:

The writing seemed to be on the wall for Cyborg as the UFC did not want her anymore.  Moving to Bellator will bring some notoriety to the women’s division that includes former opponent Leslie Smith.  But Cyborg’s signing should infuse some energy into the women’s division which has not been heavily promoted.  It is interesting that Bellator announced the signing as the largest in women’s MMA history considering the pay received by Ronda Rousey.

Bellator posts lowest Paramount Network ratings in 2019 this past weekend

August 29, 2019

Bellator 225 which took place on Saturday night drew just 285,000 viewers on Paramount according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The event, which also aired on DAZN, featured heavyweights Matt Mitrone and Sergei Kharitonov.  The former Strikeforce fighter won via TKO via the former TUF competitor in the second round.  The event drew an overall share of just 0.09.

Per Jed I. Goodman, here are the Paramount Network ratings for the 2019 events:

Bellator 224 325k

Bellator 223 386k

Bellator 222 DAZN

Bellator 221 DAZN

Bellator 220 DAZN

Bellator 219 307k

Bellator 218 255k

Bellator 217 349k

Bellator 216 DAZN

Bellator 215 365k

Bellator 214 697k

Bellator did go up against PBC on FS1 which drew 345,000 viewers.  But the boxing telecast started after the MMA telecast.

Payout Perspective:

With a Bellator average on The Paramount Network at 325,000 viewers, one has to hope more viewers are on DAZN watching the events.  Granted, it was the start of College Football and the end of NFL Preseason which has many sports fans interested in the sport than MMA.  With this card having little interest, the ratings were likely expected.

Bellator announces Ryan Bader’s first HW title defense

July 11, 2019

Bellator announced that Ryan Bader will defend his heavyweight title against Cheick Kongo when the promotion returns to San Jose’s SAP Center on September 7th.  The event will be a DAZN exclusive event streamed through the digital platform.

Bader is also the light heavyweight champion.  His defense against the French-born Kongo will be his first heavyweight title defense.

The promotion also announced that the event will have the start of its 16-man Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix.

Payout Perspective:

 If you already had September 7th on your MMA calendar, that’s because it’s the same day as UFC 242 which will feature the return of Khabib Nurmagomedov against Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi.  There has not been a confirmed time for the event considering the difference in time.  But, if it were to go against Bellator in its regular time slot there might be some conflict for fans.  Bader’s return and rise in Bellator should be highlighted as become a dominant force in the promotion.  Facing another ex-UFC fighter, Kongo, presents a tough first defense in the heavyweight division.

Bellator MMA 223 draws 386,000 on The Paramount Network for tape-delayed card

June 25, 2019

Bellator MMA Live 223 drew 386,000 on The Paramount Network Saturday night.  The event was a tape-delayed telecast as the show took place earlier in London.

The event saw an upset as Rafael Lovato, Jr. defeated Gegard Mousasi to win the Bellator MMA middleweight world championship.

The telecast aired on digital streaming service DAZN as well as Paramount.

The last three Bellator events have been exclusively on DAZN.  The last event airing on Paramount was Bellator 219 which drew 307,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

It’s hard to gage how much Bellator viewership has dropped off since the event also airs on DAZN and we are not privy to the digital platform’s viewership.  With tape-delayed card, you can expect a lower viewership number since most of the hardcore fans will find ways to watch the event live.

Bellator 220 salaries: MacDonald tops roster

April 28, 2019

The California Athletic Commission has disclosed the salaries for Bellator 220 which took place in San Jose, Saturday night.

Rory MacDonald was the top reported salary making $200,000 for his 5 round draw with Jon Fitch.  Despite the draw, MacDonald moves on in the welterweight Grand Prix and retains his belt.  Fitch earned $140,000.  Neither fighter had a win bonus.

Via MMA Junkie:

Rory MacDonald: $200,000 (no win bonus)
vs. Jon Fitch: $140,000 (no win bonus)

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane: $75,000 (no win bonus)
def. Veta Arteaga: $40,000

Benson Henderson: $100,000 (no win bonus)
def. Adam Piccolotti: $22,000

Phil Davis: $160,000 (includes $80,000 win bonus)
def. Liam McGeary: $75,000

Gaston Bolanos: $15,000 (no win bonus)
def. Nathan Stolen: $10,000

Aviv Gozali: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Travis Crain: $1,200

Brandon Faumui: $3,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
def. Chris Avila: $5,000

Matt Perez: $2,400 (includes $1,200 win bonus)
def. Justin Tenedora: $3,000

Cass Bell: $10,000 (includes $5,000 win bonus)
def. Peter Ishiguro: $1,200

Chuck Campbell: $3,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
def. Bruno Casillas: $1,500

Hyder Amil: $3,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
def. Paradise Vaovasa: $1,750

Josh San Diego: $4,000 (includes $2,000 win bonus)
def. Brandon Laroco: $1,500

Jordan Williams: $3,500 (includes $1,750 win bonus)
def. Diego Herzog: $2,500

Abraham Vaesau: $3,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
def. Justin Roswell: $2,000

Chris Inocencio: $2,400 (includes $1,200 win bonus)
def. Boris Novachkov: $1,200

Tom Ponce de Leon: $3,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
def. Jamario Mulder: $1,200

Ignacio Ortiz: $1,500
vs. Roger Severson: $1,500

Jon Adams: $1,200
vs. Erick Gunha: $1,200

Payout Perspective:

The salaries for the top of the card are starting to resemble UFC payouts but the bottom of the Bellator card shows a vast disparity.  Making less than $2,000 as a pro MMA fighter for Bellator is really low and is similar to some payouts on the regional circuit.  Unless they are being compensated through sponsors, it would not be hard to think that they are losing money fighting.

Leslie Smith finds new home in Bellator MMA

April 16, 2019

Yahoo! Sports reports that former UFC fighter Leslie Smith has signed with Bellator MMA and plans to move to Featherweight.

Smith’s last scheduled fight was to be almost a year to the day in April 2018 when she was to meet Aspen Ladd in Atlantic City.  However, Ladd did not make weight and Smith did not take the fight at a catchweight.  As those following know, it was to be Smith’s last fight on  her contract but Zuffa decided to pay her show and win money and then call it good despite her only promotion loss to Cristiane Cyborg.

Smith and her attorney Lucas Middlebrook believe that were abrupt dismissal from the company was due to her leading Project Spearhead which sought to have a vote of UFC fighters to determine whether they were employees of the company instead of independent contractors.  Smith had made a case with the NLRB and despite initial optimism which was in favor of Smith’s claims, they were denied.

She now gets a new start after what will be over a year away from fighting.

The new situation should be good for Smith and a move to the more competitive Featherweight division should yield her attractive fights.  Julia Budd is the company’s featherweight champion at this time.

 Payout Perspective:

MMA Payout had the opportunity to speak with Smith and Middlebrook a couple months back.  Her return to fighting should help Bellator with any intent of building its women’s division.  She may be a polarizing figure depending on your view of her lobbying for fighters’ rights.  But through this, she has elevated her status as someone willing to speak her mind regardless of the ramifications.  We shall see whether she brings her Project Spearhead lobbying to Bellator.

Bellator 219 draws 307,000 viewers on Paramount

April 1, 2019

Bellator 219 took place Friday night in Temecula, California and drew 307,000 viewers on the Paramount Network per Nielsen.

The main event saw a good scrap between Brandon Girtz and Saad Awad.  Girtz defeated Awad in the lightweight matchup.  The event also saw the return of Daniel Straus as he submitted Shane Kruchten via first-round rear naked choke.

Bellator saw a slight increase in its viewership share with a 0.10 rating in the A18-49 demo.

Bellator went up against the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament.  TBS ruled the night as it showed the Auburn-North Carolina game, which drew over 5.6 million viewers, the most for Friday night on cable.  It also showed Houston-Kentucky which drew over 3.4 million viewers.

Event Rating
Bellator 214 697,000
Bellator 215 365,000
Bellator 216   DAZN
Bellator 217 349,000
Bellator 218 255,000
Bellator 219 307,000

Payout Perspective:

Perhaps you can chalk the ratings up to strong competition Friday night but this event, which also aired on DAZN, did not have much drawing power although the return of Daniel Straus was notable.

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