UFC on Fox 5 averaged 3.4 million viewers on Saturday night, a slight increase from the promotion’s previous two efforts on the Fox network.
According to TVByTheNumbers.com, the overnight ratings for the broadcast earned Fox the top spot among adults in the 18-to-49 demographic, beating out “48 Hours” on CBS, “The Borrowers” on ABC and “The American Giving Awards” on NBC. The final numbers could change, however, and official ratings are expected to be released later this week.
Saturday’s event improved upon ratings from May’s UFC on Fox 3 and August’s UFC on Fox 4 broadcasts, both of which averaged 2.4 million viewers. UFC on Fox 5 took place at the Key Arena in Seattle and saw Benson Henderson retain his lightweight title with a five-round verdict over Nate Diaz in the evening’s main event. The card also included marquee bouts at welterweight (Rory MacDonald vs. B.J. Penn) and light heavyweight (Alexander Gustafsson vs. Mauricio Rua).
UFC on Fox 1, which featured a heavyweight championship bout between Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez, remains the promotion’s highest-rated effort on the network, drawing an audience of 5.7 million to Fox in November 2011. UFC on Fox 2 took place in January and averaged 4.7 million viewers for a card that showcased a light heavyweight main event between Rashad Evans and Phil Davis as well as a pivotal middleweight clash between Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisping.
The UFC returns to Fox on Jan. 26 with a flyweight title conflict between reigning champion Demetrious and “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 winner John Dodson at the United Center in Chicago. The card also includes a 155-pound showdown between Donald Cerrone and Anthony Pettis and a light heavyweight duel between Glover Teixeira and Quinton Jackson.