Lightweight Danny Castillo wrestles knockout artist Anthony Njokuani to the ground early and often in the first Spike TV "Prelims" fight on the UFC 141: "Lesnar vs. Overeem" undercard on Dec. 30, 2011. Photo by Esther Lin for MMA Fighting.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Spike TV saved the best for last with their hour-long UFC 141 "Prelims" special that led into the "Lesnar vs. Overeem" pay-per-view (PPV) event on Dec. 30, 2011.
The final episode on the network reeled in 1.8 million viewers, which is good enough for second-best in 26 total broadcasts, according to MMAWeekly.com. UFC 126, which featured Donald Cerrone vs. Paul Kelly and Chad Mendes vs. Michihiro Omigawa, earlier this year sits in the top spot with 2 million viewers.
Regardless, those are solid ratings for the UFC 141 special, considering the bouts -- Ross Pearson vs. Junior Assuncao and Anthony Njokuani vs. Danny Castillo -- were not memorable contests. Competitive, certainly, but two fights that didn't necessarily set the mixed martial arts (MMA) world on fire.
In 2012, the promotion will begin to air its "Prelims" specials on FX and FUEL TV, thanks to a landmark network television deal with FOX Sports that concludes in 2019.