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Bellator 170 does big numbers for Tito Ortiz vs. Chael Sonnen


Bellator MMA had its third biggest TV audience in history on Saturday night for Bellator 170, which featured Tito Ortiz scoring a first round submission victory in the final fight of his career over the debuting Chael Sonnen.

The show averaged 1.374 million viewers on Spike TV, peaking at 1.85 million for the Ortiz vs. Sonnen main event.

Saturday was the biggest audience for Bellator since last February's show that featured a double main event of Royce Gracie vs. Ken Shamrock and Kimbo Slice vs. Dada 5000, which set the company record at 1.964 million.

The only other Bellator show aside from that to beat Saturday's mark was the Kimbo Slice vs. Ken Shamrock fight in June 2015, which did 1.58 million viewers. The fourth biggest Bellator rating in company history was also an Ortiz fight, his November 2014 bout with Stephan Bonnar that had an audience of 1.24 million.

There was no big sports competition on cable, which no doubt helped the rating, and the show finished second for the night in the 18-49 demo with a 0.55 rating. It was first in the male 18-49 demo on all of cable.

Bellator is back on Spike TV this Friday with Bellator 171, headlined by former UFC fighter Melvin Guillard making his welterweight debut against Chidi Njokuani.