Last weekend’s UFC on FOX card only delivered one fight, a 64 second KO starring Junior Dos Santos’ fist and Cain Velasquez’s limp body. Through months of promoting and the fact that it’s a title fight for free, the ratings were absolutely spectacular.
According to FOX officials, the Nov. 12 broadcast was the highest-rated event in UFC history, and once final figures are in, it’s expected to win the adults 18-34, adults 18-49, men 18-34 and men 18-49 demographics.
UFC on FOX took place at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Only one fight took place during the hour-long broadcast; heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez lost his title to Junior Dos Santos via 64-second TKO. A nine-fight undercard streamed on Facebook and FOXSports.com prior to the FOX broadcast.
The event was simply a “teaser” show. A landmark UFC-FOX deal officially kicks off in 2012 and runs seven years. Saturday’s event was the UFC’s debut on network TV.
In addition to the UFC record, the UFC on FOX event also set a record for the highest-rated MMA event on network television. That record previously was held by 2008’s “EliteXC: Primetime” event, which scored 4.3 million viewers (and peaked with 6.5 million for a Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson vs. James Thompson headliner) on CBS.
As an MMA fan these numbers are excellent. These don’t even include peak viewership which is probably close to 7 million, making it the most-watched fight of all-time. The fact that this was just a teaser card has me pumped that the UFC’s partnership with FOX was the right one.
UFC on FOX also had higher ratings than every college football game played this season bar LSU vs. Alabama. That’s how good they were.
The news gets even better as the voice of the UFC commentator Mike Goldberg was on The MMA Hour and stated the next FOX card would be 2.5 hours long. Consider the test run a success and with a little bit of tweaking the 2012 year for MMA/UFC fans is going to be a fantastic time to watch the sport without lightening your wallet.