Just a quick update on the TUF 17 Finale, which continued with the recent trend of steadily rising UFC events to air on the FX network this past weekend. Whether it was the lure of seeing Uriah Hall cement his status as “The nastiest guy in TUF History” (Spoiler Alert: He didn’t.), the promise of the next challenger to Ronda Rousey’s throne, or the chance to catch a good old fashioned throwdown between two of the WEC’s finest, the TUF 17 Finale was a clear success all the way from the quality of the fights themselves to the ratings numbers the event was able to draw in. MMAJunkie’s John Morgan passed along the numbers via Twitter:
Aside from testing highest in the key demographic of 18-49 year-old males, the TUF 17 Finale surpassed both the TUF 15 (1.0 million) and TUF 16 finale (1.3 million) — which were also broadcast during the 9 p.m. slot on Saturday nights — in terms of viewership.
The numbers for the TUF 17 Finale – like UFC 157 before it – continue to prove that WMMA can in fact become more than an occasional niche market in the UFC. Sure, the Zingano/Tate war was not solely responsible for the finale’s excellent ratings, but you can almost guarantee that those numbers peaked during their Fight of the Night-earning war.
In short, it appears that WMMA has just begun to hit its stride in the world’s largest MMA promotion. Now if only we could start paying them a little more…