Regardless of the debate about the worthiness of the Bellator 138 main event bout between Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock, the fight delivered exactly what was expected of it by company officials… record television ratings.
There were a lot of questions about whether or not a fight between two men that hadn’t competed in mixed martial arts for the past five years should headline over Bellator featherweight champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire putting his belt on the line against Daniel Weichel. While Kimbo vs. Shamrock may not have much relevance in the upper echelon of the heavyweight division, the fight garnered a tremendous amount of attention and viewers.
Bellator 138 was the highest rated event ever for the promotion on Spike TV, delivering 1.6 million viewers, and ranking No. 1 in the key advertising demographics of Men 18-49 and Adults 18-49 on cable television, according to Spike TV officials. The main event between Kimbo and Shamrock also hit a record peak for an individual Bellator fight with 2.1 million viewers at its high point.
The previous Bellator record for overall viewers on a Spike TV event was 1.2 million for October’s Bellator 131. That night’s headliner was also the previous record-holder for an individual fight with Tito Ortiz vs. Stephan Bonnar peaking at 1.8 million viewers.
Kimbo vs. Shamrock was the most watched MMA fight on cable since January, according to Spike TV officials.
Bellator 138 also performed when on social media, topping previous bests in several categories:
- Social reach was over 105 million compared to the previous high of 40 million (Bellator 131)
- #Bellator138 trended worldwide and No. 1 in the U.S. from 15 minutes into the broadcast until the end
- Most unique Twitter authors ever for a Bellator event