There has been a lot of talk about the ratings success (or failure, depending on what side of the promotional fence you're on) after the Strikeforce/CBS prime time debut of "Fedor vs. Rogers" from the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on November 7.
The network revealed the final numbers on Tuesday for the main event between Fedor Emelianenko and Brett Rogers. The two heavyweights slung leather in front of 5.46 million viewers while drawing key demographic ratings of 3.5/10 in men 25-54, 3.3/11 in men 18-49 and 3.1/12 in men 18-34, 2.5/7 rating in adults 25-54, 2.4/8 in adults 18-49 and 2.4/09 in adults 18-34.
There comes a point when those numbers start to lose their value after chopping them down to the tiniest of categories. Fortunately our colleague Ivan Trembow has added a little clarity to the situation with a comprehensive list of the most watched fights in television history.
No demographics, no grading curve, just cold, hard numbers. Two guys who went toe-to-toe and how many people tuned in to see it. Remember, this is LIVE broadcasts in stateside homes.
Check out the top ten after the jump.
Most-Watched Individual Fights on Live Event Broadcasts in U.S. MMA History
Based on Average Number of Viewers using Minute-by-Minute Ratings
1. EliteXC on CBS (5/31/2008): Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson: 7.281 million viewers (Aired from 11:27 PM to 11:40 PM)
2. UFC: The Final Chapter on Spike TV (10/10/2006): Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock: 6.524 million viewers (Aired from 9:42 PM to 9:45 PM)
3. EliteXC on CBS (10/4/2008): Seth Petruzelli vs. Kimbo Slice: 6.451 million viewers (Aired from 11:08 PM to 11:08 PM)
4. EliteXC on CBS (5/31/2008): Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith: 5.867 million viewers (Aired from 10.39 PM to 10:57 PM)
5. UFC 75 on Spike TV (9/8/2007): Quinton Jackson vs. Dan Henderson: 5.811 million viewers (Aired from 11:29 PM to 12:03 AM)
6. EliteXC on CBS (5/31/2008): Gina Carano vs. Kaitlin Young: 5.508 million viewers (Aired from 10:09 PM to 10:17 PM)
7. UFC 75 on Spike TV (9/8/2007): Michael Bisping vs. Matt Hamill: 5.475 million viewers (Aired from 10:41 PM to 11:06 PM)
8. Strikeforce on CBS (11/7/2009): Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brett Rogers: 5.467 million viewers (Aired from 11:01 PM to 11:09 PM)
9. EliteXC on CBS (10/4/2008): Jake Shields vs. Paul Daley: 5.338 million viewers (Aired from 10:34 PM to 10:44 PM)
10. EliteXC on CBS (10/4/2008): Gina Carano vs. Kelly Kobold: 5.171 million viewers (Aired from 9:45 PM to 9:59 PM)
Those are just the top ten. For the complete list of the top 30 fights click here.
Any surprises? It was interesting to see Shamrock vs. Ortiz bring in so many viewers. It will be even more interesting to see how Ortiz fares as a headliner again at UFC 106 when he takes on Forrest Griffin. Anyone want to take a guess as to the number of pay-per-views they'll sell?
And last but not least, who can knock Kimbo Slice from the top spot? Perhaps Kimbo himself, if he indeed fights Houston Alexander at the Dec. 5 Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 10 Finale.