The third episode of “The Ultimate Fighter: Live” on FX drew an average of 1.2 million viewers on Friday night, according to an industry source.

The figures represent a slight increase from the second episode, which drew 1.1 million viewers and featured a first-round matchup between James Vick and Daron Cruickshank. “TUF Live” debuted on March 9 with 16 live fights to determine the 16 fighters who would make it into the reality show house, drawing an average of 1.3 million viewers for the initial episode.

For the second consecutive week, “TUF” went head-to-head with the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, as a pair of Sweet 16 matchups overlapped with the show’s 10 p.m. ET time slot. In addition, Spike continues to offer counterprogramming with its “Ultimate Fighter Fridays,” which features episodes from the previous 14 seasons.

On Friday’s episode of “TUF Live”, one-time Strikeforce veteran and Team Cruz member Justin Lawrence advanced by knocking out Royler Gracie black belt and Team Faber competitor Cristiano Marcello with a left hook at 3:16 of round two. The fourth installment airs on Friday, with Team Cruz’s Myles Jury expected to take on Team Faber’s Al Iaquinta in another quarterfinal showdown.

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