The most-watched MMA show of the past week was not UFC, nor Bellator.
The Combate Americas show on Univision this past Friday night, airing at midnight Eastern time live and at midnight Pacific tape-delayed, did 416,000 viewers. The number was slightly head of the UFC prelims in Greenville, S.C. the next afternoon, which did 413,000, and the Bellator Saturday night tape delayed show from London, which did 386,000 viewers.
Combate arguably had the worst time slot of the three, but also had the strongest outlet as Univision is a powerhouse broadcast network to the large Hispanic population in the U.S. Combate live events are routinely drawing similar numbers in that time slot.
The three-fight Combat 40 main card, held at State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas, was headlined by Cooper “The Bitter Truth” Gibson (10-2) beating Ricky Palacios (11-2) with an arm triangle at 4:02 of the first round.
“The ratings for the latest Combate Americas live television show on Friday night confirm what we’ve known: combat sports fans prefer ‘Mucha Mas Accion,’ and our style and brand of fighting, which is the best of old-style unpredictability combined with the new generation MMA,” said Campbell McLaren, the CEO of Combate Americas and the man in charge of the UFC in its earliest incarnation in the mid-’90s. “Young adults especially recognize our bouts have more action, drama and entertainment than any other MMA organization and Combate Americas has, as a result, become appointment television.”