UFC on FOX main event most viewed fight ever
The UFC makes history.
According to MMA Junkie, the inaugural UFC on FOX main event of Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos for the heavyweight title peaked at 8.8 million viewers. It is now the highest viewed MMA bout in history.
Via MMA Junkie:
The title fight's quick conclusion (Dos Santos knocked out Velasquez in just 64 seconds) obviously affected the overall average.
The event also scored a 4.0 household rating among men 18-49 and 4.3 among men 18-34.
In its counter-programming efforts, Spike TV averaged a respectable 719,000 viewers for a 9 p.m. ET "UFC Unleashed" episode that featured past Velasquez and Dos Santos fights. Additionally, an 8 p.m. ET episode averaged 923,000, and a 10 p.m. ET version averaged 787,000 viewers.
In addition to breaking the UFC record, the UFC on FOX event also set a record for the highest-rated MMA event on U.S. 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.
Spike TV previously held the UFC record for the highest-rated fight. The cable station set that record in 2009 when episode No. 3 of "The Ultimate Fighter 10: Heavyweights" (which featured a pre-taped fight between "Kimbo" and Roy Nelson) drew 5.3 million viewers and a peak of 6.1 million. The previous high was set in 2007 when 5.9 million viewers tuned in for Spike TV's Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Dan Henderson UFC 75 main-event bout. (Overall, UFC 75 averaged 4.7 million viewers.)
The American broadcast featured just the main event, while internationally, Ben Henderson vs. Clay Guida, Ricardo Lamas vs. Cub Swanson, and Pablo Garza vs. Dustin Poirier also aired.