Episode 5 of “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 17 averaged 1.1 million viewers during its Tuesday-night broadcast on FX.
Sherdog.com recently confirmed the figure with an industry source, who also verified that Spike TV’s Thursday-night broadcast of Bellator 90 attracted 737,000 observers to the Viacom-owned cable network.
The “TUF” viewership marks a slight downturn for the program in comparison to the previous week, which drew 1.25 million viewers. Bellator 90, meanwhile, drew 18,000 more viewers than last week’s Bellator 89. Both programs posted season highs in their respective premieres, with “TUF” drawing 1.5 million viewers and Bellator 85 attracting 938,000.
Episode 5 of “TUF 17” saw Team Chael Sonnen pick up another victory over Team Jon Jones, as Kevin Gastelum notched a second-round submission of Robert McDaniel to close out the episode.
Two nights later, Bellator 90 served as a delayed coronation for Season 7 featherweight tournament champion Shabulat Shamhalaev, who knocked out Rad Martinez in the evening’s main event. Also of note, Emanuel Newton advanced to the Season 8 light heavyweight finals, upsetting Muhammed Lawal with a perfectly-placed spinning backfist. “The Hardcore Kid” will now meet fellow finalist Mikhail Zayats for a shot at reigning titlist Christian M’Pumbu. Bellator’s 170-pound finalists were also decided on Thursday night, as American Top Team reps Ben Saunders and Douglas Lima will now lock horns for a second time.