Strikeforce “Rousey vs. Kaufman” averaged 529,000 viewers for its Saturday night broadcast on premium cable network Showtime, setting a new high for the Zuffa-owned promotion in 2012.
Sherdog.com confirmed the figure Tuesday with an industry source, who also noted that the two-hour telecast posted a household rating of 1.43. “Rousey vs. Kaufman” was headlined by a titular women’s bantamweight title confrontation between reigning 135-pound queen Ronda Rousey and former champion Sarah Kaufman; the show took place at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, Calif.
Rousey wasted no time in retaining her title in Saturday’s main event, jabbing her way into the clinch before sweeping Kaufman to the mat, where “Rowdy” quickly transitioned to the mount and locked up her signature armbar less than thirty seconds into the fight. Though the Canadian gamely attempted to defend and escape the hold, Rousey patiently waited for her opportunity and finished the fight just 54 seconds into the opening frame.
The main card broadcast also saw former middleweight champion Ronaldo Souza knock out prospect Derek Brunson in just 41 seconds, while Team Quest representative Tarec Saffiedine outpointed Roger Bowling. Additionally, Anthony Smith locked up a fight-ending triangle choke on Lumumba Sayers, and Ovince St. Preux put T.J. Cook to sleep with a hard left hook to open the Showtime broadcast. The preliminary card immediately preceded the main card and was shown on sister network Showtime Extreme.
The viewership for the Aug. 18 event handily surpassed the previous high in 2012, which was set by Rousey’s title-winning performance this past March. The former Olympic judo bronze medalist submitted then-champion Miesha Tate in the first round, attracting an average of 472,000 viewers in the process.