Early Reports See Success for Bellator on Spike
A little more than one week after Bellator’s debut on the Spike TV network, early reports are that Bellator 85 brought in approximately 938,000 viewers. When looking at these numbers in comparison to how the show performed on MTV2, this is a strong showing for a debut that did not include any major stars as far as mixed martial arts goes. Michael Chandler, Pat Curran and “Babalu” Sobral are not major draws for both the mainstream and hardcore fan audience, but they were able to bring in comparable numbers to free events created by the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Bellator 86 slipped a bit but still had a strong showing in the ratings department. Lead by Ben Askren and “King Mo” Lawal this show has reportedly done 812,000 viewers. Again, neither of their main event athletes are on the same popularity scale of those on the UFC roster so these numbers are very strong to begin with and build upon with future shows.
Matt Hughes Retires and Takes UFC Position
One of the top welterweights to ever compete in MMA has officially announced his retirement from competition. During the UFC of Fox 6 press conference, it was revealed that Matt Hughes has officially retired from the sport. The Hall of Famer and two-time welterweight champion will walk away from the sport with 45 wins and 9 losses.
However, he will not be done with the sport as he will step into a role within the UFC offices. Hughes will become the Vice President of Athletic Development and Government Relations. While the specifics of this role have not been discussed, the position seems to be akin to working as a liason between the UFC and the multitude of athletes on its roster. This comes at a time when the UFC is working to implement a written code of conduct for its fighters to help create a solid foundation of standards for contracted fighters.
These are two of the biggest stories released during the past week of MMA action bout in the cage and out.