But before that happened, FX hosted The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale last weekend (April 13, 2013), where the world's largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion featured the TUF finale bout between prospects Uriah Hall and Kelvin Gastelum as well as the first free women's UFC fight between Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano.
The ratings results? Spectacular, according to a press release:
The Ultimate Fighter went out on top, as FX's last telecast of the series (4/13/2013) scored FX series highs in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, while the entire 17th installment was FX's highest-rated of the series.
The TUF 17 finale, which saw Kelvin Gastelum named "The Ultimate Fighter" with a split decision upset win over heavily favored Uriah Hall, scored 1.71 million Total Viewers and 1.16 Million Adults 18-49, marking series highs for FX. For the night, FX ranked #1 in Men 18-34 outright, beating all broadcast and cable networks, while Men 18-49 was the highest-rated in basic cable and second highest-rated overall, behind only FOX which aired NASCAR.
The finale was the most-watched show in all of television in Men 18-34 in primetime on Saturday night, and second most-watched among M18-49, behind only NASCAR on FOX.
Men 18-49, Adults 18-34, Men 18-34, Adults 25-54, Men 25-54 and Women 25-54 also scored series highs. The 17th season as a whole averaged 1.32 million Total Viewers and 921,000 Adults 18-49, increases of +45% and +41%, respectively, vs. TUF 16.
While FX will no longer be hosting TUF, its executive Vice President Chuck Saftler was very pleased with the sendoff:
"This was a great way to end The Ultimate Fighter's run on FX. I want to thank Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta and Frank Fertitta as well as Craig Piligian on three amazing seasons of the series. I wish them all nothing but the best in their move to FOX Sports 1."
Will the move to FOX Sports 1 be as successful as the final season on FX, or will there be growing pains just like with the original transition from Spike TV?