The highly anticipated Bellator 206 MMA fight went down on Saturday night, which saw welterweight champion Rory MacDonald moving up to the middleweight division to face off against current middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi. The fight was hands down the biggest in the nine-year history of the Bellator promotion, and it was broadcast and streamed live in countries all over the world for eager MMA fans.
The main event kicked off at 10pm in San Jose, California, which meant those watching in other countries had to stay up all night (or get up really early) to catch the fight. Unfortunately, with that came its own set of complications, as British viewers tuned into Channel 5 at around 6am, where the fight was being aired in the U.K. and were met with… Peppa Pig, the popular British animated series geared toward preschoolers.
Apparently, Channel 5 had only had the Bellator scheduled until 5am, and when the event ran slightly behind schedule, programming automatically switched over to Peppa Pig.
So you can only imagine that British MMA fans were, uh, not pleased—and many of them sounded off on Twitter to voice their anger and disappointment.
WOWWWWWWWWWW— Ben Smith (@bendrfcsmithMMA) September 30, 2018
I STAYED UP TIL 6AM FOR CHANNEL 5 TO CUT OFF BELLATOR MAIN EVENT.
Well UK MMA fans FINALLY get Bellator live and then the Channel 5 broadcast abruptly ends. That bites. #Bellator206— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) September 30, 2018
Main event about to start!
But on the plus side, as others pointed out, at least small children throughout the U.K. didn’t wake up and tune into two grown men beating the living shit out of each other, instead of their beloved animated pig.
Obviously we have waited up which is frustrating, but no-one should be blaming Channel 5. My kids don't get up at 6 am but can you imagine the shit storm if a kid woke up and just watched that fight? Having said that some kind of online viewing could be a fail-safe in future.— enter name here (@levenemachine) September 30, 2018
Came here to say the exact same thing. My little one wakes up before 6am and some mornings I do just find the first channel with Peppa Pig on whilst I make myself multiple cups of coffee. It would have been a PR disaster for Channel 5 if they'd continued broadcasting.— Sarah (@MsHarris79) September 30, 2018
At least the young ones would be entertained! It was a definite oversight but hopefully it won’t happen again. It’s about time @BellatorMMA was screened live over here— Simon Luke (@thepsyman) September 30, 2018
With any hope, Viacom and Channel 5 will take some sort of precautions to prevent this sort of thing from happening in the future, but it seems that for MMA fans, a fight like the one that took place this weekend only comes around once in a lifetime.
Mousasi handily defeated MacDonald with TKO in two rounds lasting 3:23 minutes, but that’s probably of little solace to the thousands of disappointed MMA fans.