Well, I'll be damned. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) put together a great card for its latest effort on FOX and the overnight ratings reflect the added interest in the show.
According to TVByTheNumbers.com, UFC on FOX 5: "Henderson vs. Diaz," which took place last night (Sat., Dec. 8, 2012) at the KeyArena in Seattle, Washington, garnered an average of 3.41 million viewers for the 8-10 p.m. ET broadcast, with a 1.6 rating in the highly coveted 18-49 demographic.
As I'm sure UFC President Dana White would be quick to tell you, that rating was enough to win the night for FOX.
It's important to note that the main event of the show, the lightweight championship bout that saw Ben Henderson batter and bruise Nate Diaz for five full rounds, ran much longer than the time allotted for the show. That means the overnight ratings have not factored in anything that came after 10 p.m. ET.
That's good news for both the UFC and FOX because the numbers were even better than what they've shown so far.
For comparison's sake, UFC on Fox 3: "Diaz vs. Miller" did 2.25 million viewers and UFC on Fox 4: "Shogun vs. Vera" did 2.36 million viewers in their overnight ratings. They still aren't back up to the levels they were at first but that's not unexpected and improvement is really all anyone can ask for, right?
UFC on Fox 5 featured the aforementioned lightweight title showdown, in addition to Alexander Gustafsson mauling Mauricio Rua, Rory MacDonald running through B.J. Penn, and Matt Brown knocking out Mike Swick. It was a fine show worthy of the improved ratings.