The UFC’s network television debut peaked with 8.8 million viewers
during Saturday’s heavyweight championship fight between Junior dos
Santos and Cain
Velasquez. Three minutes after the bout’s conclusion, only 5.9
million viewers remained.
Sherdog.com today confirmed the viewership information with an
industry source, who said that the peak occurred at 9:40 p.m. ET,
coinciding with the brief heavyweight title fight. MMAJunkie.com
first reported the peak viewership on Wednesday afternoon.
on Fox 1 took place Nov. 12 at the Honda Center in Anaheim,
Calif. Though the event featured a myriad of undercard contests
streamed live on Facebook, only the main event was broadcast on
Dos Santos bombed Velasquez just 64 seconds into the scheduled
five-round affair, clipping the champion behind the ear with a
massive overhand right. The punch spelled disaster for the
American Kickboxing Academy standout, and though Velasquez
gamely attempted to defend the forthcoming onslaught of
ground-and-pound, “Cigano” would not be denied, pounding out his
prone opponent to capture the UFC heavyweight belt.
As reported on Sunday, UFC on Fox 1 averaged 5.7 million viewers
during its hour-long broadcast, making it the most-watched event in
the promotion’s history, as well as the most-watched professional
fight since Lennox Lewis defeated Vitali Klitschko in 2003 on
Defunct promotion EliteXC
previously set MMA’s all-time network TV viewership record in 2008,
drawing an average of 4.3 million viewers for EliteXC “Primetime”
and peaking with 6.5 million viewers during Kimbo
Slice’s victory over James
Thompson in the main event.