UFC Begins the Month by Pulling in Strong Ratings

By Kevin Jaress
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout 2012, fans and experts alike warned of the UFC over-saturating the MMA market by featuring too many events.

The UFC, however, proved that theory wrong after airing two successful events in the span of three days to start off the month of March.

Saturday, Fuel TV featured Wanderlei Silva knocking out Brian Stann at UFC on Fuel TV 8. Silva’s remarkable knockout of Stann sent the MMA world into a frenzy. A day later, UFC President Dana White confirmed the event pulled in nearly 500 thousand viewers, which is the most in network history.

Tuesday brought more good news for the UFC.

“The Ultimate Fighter Season 17” had another spectacular show. The featured fight matched Jimmy Quinlan against heavy favorite Clinton Hester. The fearless Quinlan gave Hester all he could handle in the opening frame and eventually worked a submission late in the second round.

Not only did the episode end with a dramatic finish, but it scored more huge ratings for a show that was thought by many to be on its last legs entering this season.

According to ratings released by TVbytheNumbers.com, Quinlan’s upset victory was seen by 1.26 million viewers. Those ratings are a significant improvement over the previous week’s episode and are nearly double what Bellator MMA averages on Spike TV.

Up next, is UFC 158 featuring welterweight champion George St. Pierre on Mar. 16. According to White, there are no bigger fights than St. Pierre.

“The big money fight is George St. Pierre, everybody knows it,” White said in an exclusive interview with Fuel TV.

Early buzz about the card indicates UFC 158 will be another huge moneymaker for MMA’s top promotion.

White and the UFC are proving there is no such thing as over-saturation, as long as you continue featuring fights MMA fans want to watch.

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