Bellator MMA is nearly the mid-way point of it’s eighth season and the first season on Spike TV. During the past week, Bellator completed their schedule for this season, which will wrap up on April 4th in Atlantic City.
This week’s Bellator fight card will come from the Maverik Center in Utah, which will feature the season seven featherweight final and the season eight light heavyweight and welterweight semifinals.
In this week’s edition of the “Bellator Notebook,” the season eight venue schedule was finalized, Eduardo Dantas made his first title defense and the ratings for this week’s card were down from the previous week.
Bellator returns to Florida for Bellator 94
During the Bellator 89 broadcast, the organization announced that Bellator 94 on March 28th will come from the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, which is on the campus of the University of South Florida. The fight card will be headlined by the featherweight and lightweight finals. Also on the card will be Jessica Aguilar, who is considered the best 115 pound women fighter.
This is the second time that Bellator comes to Tampa as they held Bellator 72 at the same venue during the 2012 Summer Series. With this card being announced, all of the venues for fight card during the season eight have been announced.
TheMMAReport.com has been able to confirm that there will not be a fight card on Match 14th as “The Road to the Championship” will be played that night on Spike TV. “The Road to the Championship” is a recap show Bellator has done in past season to recap the season’s tournaments and preview the upcoming tournament finals.
Eduardo Dantas returns to Bellator and wins by knockout
After Marcos Galvao won the season six bantamweight tournament, Bellator was hoping to have him face Eduardo Dantas during the seventh season. However, Bellator allowed Dantas to take a fight in Brazil at a charity event and he was defeated by knockout.
Instead of rushing him back into the cage, Bellator MMA Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney decided that it was best to allow him to recover from his defeat and wait for the eight season on Spike TV.
He returned this past week and faced Galvao, which they were teammates at Nova Uniao in Brazil and Dantas considers him a friend. Dantas won the fight in the second round by knockout when he landed an uppercut that dropped Galvao and the fight was stopped shortly after the punch.
Dantas will now be waiting to find out who is next title fight is against and Bellator has not announced when the next bantamweight tournament will take place. It’s likely that the next bantamweight tournament will take place at some point this year, either in the Summer Series or season nine, which takes place in the fall.
Bellator 89 TV Ratings Drop from previous week
The preliminary television ratings for this past week’s Bellator 89 were down from the previous week, with the live showing at 10 p.m. ET getting 719,000 viewers. The replay drew another 313,000 viewers with the total viewers between the two airings being 1,032,000 viewers.
According to Pete DiLorenzo, television ratings were down six percent across the board last Thursday which is due to it being Valentine’s Day. Along with Bellator seeing a ratings decline, Impact Wrestling which is the lead in for Bellator also saw a ratings decline.
UFC President Dana White talked about the ratings during his post fight media scrum after UFC on FUEL TV 7 and stated how Bellator’s target demo numbers were down.
Prior to last week’s numbers, Bellator’s lowest viewers was 744,000 for Bellator 87 at the end of January. If the television numbers go down once again this week, Bellator and Spike officials could make some tweaks in attempt to get the ratings up.