The UFC and Bellator Fighting Championships both presented MMA events on cable television on Saturday March 26th.
UFC Fight Night 24 was broadcast on Spike TV and the card, which was headlined by a fight between Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Phil Davis that peaked at 2.4 million viewers.
The rating for the event peaked during the Dan Hardy versus Anthony Johnson bout. Viewers may have tuned in to see a fight that was being hyped by the fighters as a stand-up war.
However, the pre-fight hype did not come to fruition, as Johnson used his wrestling skills and Hardy's lack of takedown defense to take the fight to the ground and keep it there, winning by unanimous decision.
The Spike TV ratings were the highest for a UFC Fight Night event since September, 2009, when Nate Diaz and Melvin Guillard headlined UFC Fight Night 19.
Bellator Fighting Championships had a strong debut on MTV2 with Bellator 35 pulling in 200,000 viewers. The following week, the promotion drew 230,000 for Bellator 36.
Bellator 37 saw a drop to 173,000 viewers while the Bellator 38 card that was televised on March 26th drew a season-low 150,000 viewers.
On Saturday, April 2, the promotion will present a strong card from the Mohegan Sun. It will be interesting to see if the card, which will be headlined by a lightweight title fight between Eddie Alvarez and Pat Curran will be able to reverse the downward ratings trend.
Bellator 39 will not face any competition from the UFC, something that cannot be said about their previous two events, as UFC 128 and UFC Fight Night 24 may have impacted Bellator's ratings for events 37 and 38.