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‘UFC on FOX 5′ Ratings Update: Henderson vs. Diaz Was the Ninth Most Watched MMA Fight of All Time in the U.S.; Kimbo Still Reigns Supreme


(Well, you can’t say he didn’t warn you. / Photo courtesy of Getty Images. Click for full-size version.)

According to a Yahoo! Sports report, Saturday’s UFC on FOX 5 broadcast averaged 4.4 million viewers, with viewership climbing steadily through the night until it peaked at a hearty 5.7 million sets of eyeballs for the main event of Benson Henderson vs. Nate Diaz.

Although total viewership still fell short of the first two UFC on FOX offerings, the 4.4 million average for “Henderson vs. Diaz” nearly doubled the audiences of the last two FOX broadcasts, which both averaged just 2.4 million viewers apiece. More importantly, “Henderson vs. Diaz” was television’s most-watched broadcast on Saturday night among males 18-34, males 18-49, adults 18-34, and adults 18-49. As Dana White told Yahoo!: “We just killed it. We killed it in every demo.”

The ratings performance was also enough to clinch Henderson vs. Diaz as the ninth most-watched MMA fight of all time in the United States. Four years ago, the top ten list was dominated by Kimbo Slice — and not much has changed since then. Here’s Dave Meltzer with an update on MMAFighting.com (number rankings added for clarity):

“The 5.7 million viewers drawn by the main event would rank it behind only five UFC fights in history: [#1] the record-breaking Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos fight on November 12, 2001, which did 9.6 million viewers between FOX and Fox Deportes; [#3] the Oct. 10, 2006, Ken Shamrock vs. Tito Ortiz fight on Spike, which did 6.5 million viewers; [#5] the Jan. 28, 2012, Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis fight on FOX and Fox Deportes, that did 6.4 million viewers; [#6] the Sept. 30, 2009, taped fight on the Ultimate Fighter reality show with Kimbo Slice vs. Roy Nelson, which did 6.1 million viewers on Spike; and [#8] the Sept. 8, 2007, taped fight from England pitting Dan Henderson vs. Rampage Jackson for the light heavyweight title, which did 5.8 million viewers on Spike.

The only other fights it trailed were Kimbo Slice fights on CBS with James Thompson [#2: 7.281 million viewers] and Seth Petruzelli [#4: 6.451 million viewers], and the first Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith fight [#7: 5.867 million viewers], which aired before Slice vs. Thompson on the first Elite XC show on CBS in 2008.

However, if you add in Spanish language viewership in the U.S. on Fox Deportes, numbers which are not available at press time, the total audience should top 6 million and move to either the No. 6 or No. 7 slot.”

In the past, Henderson has underperformed as a pay-per-view draw, but a brilliant fight against Diaz in front of a massive network audience might change all that. Can Bendo become the UFC’s next breakout star?

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mma4ever- December 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm
Never understud the hype around kimbo. Bum to the fullest .he couldn't even knock out the the street bums ...bum bum bum
Null Kuhl- December 12, 2012 at 5:21 pm
Cain and JDS fought when they were still teens, huh? I must have missed that one.
Mr_Misanthropy- December 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm
Well, when the toothpicks wear out and Bendo's got no more fight left in him he can always dress in drag and go be a Rockette.
Fried Taco- December 12, 2012 at 3:51 pm
How about if you add in all the illegal viewers on the interwebz!?! What fight wins then?
Mike_Goldberg- December 12, 2012 at 3:31 pm
Left leg Hell, Right leg Heaven.
The12ozCurls- December 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm
And to answer your question - Yes, I am buying stock in Bendo.
Mr_Misanthropy- December 12, 2012 at 5:17 pm
I hope this BenDo stock performs better than all that WorldCom stock you bought back in '01. Those were the days, huh?
The12ozCurls- December 12, 2012 at 8:58 pm
Quit lookin' at my portfolio
The12ozCurls- December 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm
If I attempted that kick (in the top pic) with the same form as Bendo - I would have to go to the emergency room or the morgue. Or probably both.
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