The scene was set for fight fans looking forward in high anticipation for Bellator 206, with a strong card throughout and a main event that promised a great deal of action in the cage. With the undercard featuring fights between Chuck Campbell and Joseph Ramirez and the main card showcasing such top-tier fighters as Rampage Jackson and Wanderlei Silva, it’s little wonder that the event drew a large viewership and a great deal of attention for fans of combat sports.
The main event — a mixed-weight fight between middleweight champion Gerard Mousasi and welterweight champion Rory MacDonald — was heavily promoted by Bellator and was the subject of much discussion on MMA forums and on social media platforms such as Reddit. According to the Telegraph, however, those hyped-up fans of cage fighting that happened to live in the United Kingdom were about to face down some major disappointment — said letdown coming in the ironic form of a cartoon pig.
As the witching hours turned to early morning after Bellator 206 — with it’s full card offering up a whopping 13 fights according to MMA Fighting — had run over predicted time, fans watching the fisticuffs and submissions in the UK were treated to a jarring shift of programming as children’s cartoon Peppa Pig co-opted the previous broadcast.
The reasoning for the switch was supposed simple. Due to OFCOM — or the Office of Communications, UK’s governmental regulatory body surrounding broadcast media — stipulations, no content rated age 15 plus can be shown from 6 a.m. onwards. This means that, just as the clock struck six in the UK — and with both Mousasi and MacDonald about the enter the cage — the Bellator 206 broadcast was immediately and unceremoniously interrupted by previously scheduled programming.
In this case? Peppa Pig.
Fan reaction to the porcine takeover of the main event — that many had stayed awake all night to watch — was, perhaps predictably, outraged. Addressing the mix-up in a post-event press conference, Bellator CEO Scott Coker ran a bit of polite damage control in order to stymie negative reaction — from the press and from paying customers alike.
“Believe me there were emails going back and forth and they were not friendly. That’s definitely a hiccup but we will definitely fix that going forward… Honestly, we thought we would be way off the air before the three-hour mark. It just didn’t happen and we ran over and Peppa Pig took over, that’s what happened… When they switched over, there were a lot of texts going back and forth and they all were not friendly. We were trying to fix it, we thought it was a technical glitch. I can promise you that the next time, it will not happen — we’ll keep it to five fights instead of six like we normally do.”
????— Limmy: TIX ON SALE NOW (@DaftLimmy) September 30, 2018
"When you stay up all night for a huge MMA fight and see Peppa Pig instead" https://t.co/qf4WHgZHjH
Not everyone was angered by the mistake, however. Some Twitter users have taken to the popular social media service to display their apparent amusement over the entire affair. A sense of humor is definitely required after a long night of snacks and snoozing in wait for a main event that never comes — instead being replaced by a high-contrast pastel pig.