UFC on FOX 22, headlined by Paige VanZant vs. Michelle Waterson, has been talked about a lot in recent days. Today’s news brings the all important aspect that both the UFC and FOX are highly vested in – the ratings. UFC on FOX shows tend to do pretty well considering it’s free TV and the UFC always tries to put a current or rising star in the marquee matchup, and at times even a title.
VanZant and Waterson duked it out atop a card that saw an average viewership of 3,178,000. The show’s viewership peaked from 10:00-10:15pm, during the main event, at 4,800,000. Considering the fight was so short one has to believe that for the 3 minutes and change of fight time itself it was up over 5 million.
This was the highest rated UFC show since January 2014 in a UFC on FOX card that saw Benson Henderson defending his lightweight title in the main event. For a non-title fight main event to draw this number is a pretty big deal for the promotion.
The card had a number of things going for it to attract ratings; Urijah Faber’s final match, Sage Northcutt who always draws eyeballs, and of course Dancing With the Stars runner-up Paige VanZant. That in no way implies that the card was gimmick heavy, but it definitely shows that if the storylines are there and the fighters are promoted heavily than the viewers will tune in.
The next UFC on FOX will be January, 28, 2017, with bantamweights Valentina Shevchenko and Juliana Pena in the main event. The card also pits Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in a welterweight matchup with Jorge Masvidal and a heavyweight contest between Andrei Arlovski and Francis Ngannou.