For the third time in a row, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) put together a very strong card for its latest effort on FOX and the overnight ratings reflect interest in the show, which was headlined by a lightweight title bout between Benson Henderson and Gilbert Melendez.
According to Dave Meltzer of MMA Fighting, UFC on FOX 7: "Henderson vs. Melendez," which took place last night (Sat., April 20, 2013) at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., garnered an average of 3.31 million viewers for the 8-10 p.m. ET broadcast, with a 1.5 rating in the highly coveted 18-49 demographic.
It's important to note that the main event of the show, the 155-pound championship bout that saw Henderson back from a shaky opening 10 minutes to defeat Melendez went for five full rounds, which means the event went 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 likely even better than what they've shown so far
For comparison's sake, UFC on FOX 6: "Johnson vs. Dodson," which was headlined by a flyweight title fight of Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson and had the full push of NFL Playoff promotion behind it, pulled in an average of 3.77 million viewers for the 8-10 p.m. ET broadcast, with a 1.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic.
The previous FOX card headlined by "Smooth," was UFC on FOX 5: "Henderson vs. Diaz," and that show did 3.41 million viewers. 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 (4.6 million for UFC on FOX 1), but that's not exactly unexpected.
UFC on FOX 7 featured the aforementioned lightweight title showdown, in addition to Daniel Cormier's beat down Frank Mir, Josh Thomson ended Nate Diaz's night with a head kick and Matt Brown beat the snot out of Jordan Mein. It was arguable the UFC's best showing on FOX so far, and more than worthy of the ratings.