MEXICO CITY: Combate Americas today announced that the ‘Tito vs. Alberto – What Side Are You On?’ Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) extravaganza garnered 3.1 million live Televisa Canal 5 viewers in Mexico from Payne Arena in McAllen, Texas last Saturday, Dec. 7.
The audience size for the live program was nearly double the average of 1.6 million for all previous Combate Americas live programming on Televisa Canal 5.
The live pay-per-view television broadcast in the U.S. did not fare as well, according to initial reports that indicate a low buy rate for the company’s only pay-per-view offering to date.
“We pulled off the biggest event in the company’s history, and it showed across a number of platforms, including the size of our live broadcast television audience in Mexico, the crowd of nearly 7,000 fans in the arena, the number of online pay-per-view buys from consumers in Latin America and the heavy activity on social media from an assortment of public figures that either tuned in or were paying attention, including U.S. President Donald Trump, said Combate Americas CEO Campbell McLaren.
“The television pay-per-view environment in the U.S. has changed dramatically, though, in just the last few years, as I know well from producing the original UFC’s,” continued McLaren, “but we delivered the show we promised, and Combate Americas will continue to grow across the media platforms and venues that thrive and demand our programming.”
President Trump’s congratulatory message to main event winner and UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz on Saturday was preceded by an abundance of other messaging on social media about the main event fight from a number of public figures and organizations, including the president’s son, Eric Trump; United Service Organizations (USO); Fox Business Network journalist Maria Bartiromo; WWE champion Rey Mysterio; and both actress Kate Del Castilloand former WWE superstar Sin Cara who were both in attendance at the event.
The president’s Twitter message was covered by comedian Stephen Colbert this week during his hit, late-night CBS television program, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
The Televisa Canal 5 broadcast covered the 210-pound main event that saw Ortiz (21-12) defeat multiple-time WWE Heavyweight Champion and former PRIDE competitor Alberto “El Patrón” Rodriguez (9-6) (formerly “Alberto Del Rio” of the WWE) by way of first-round submission (rear-naked choke).
The ‘Tito vs. Alberto’ event also saw Combate Americas crown its first women’s world champion – 22-year-old Melissa “Super Mely” Martinez (7-0) – after the undefeated, Mexico City phenom edged out a split decision over fellow star Desiree “Dirty Dez” Yanez (5-2) of Waco, Texas in the strawweight (115 pounds) co-main event.
Combate Americas announced at a press conference last month that it will produce a minimum of 35 live television events in 2020. The events will take place in five different countries across three continents.