Chael Sonnen once said that former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight kingpin Lyoto Machida "couldn't draw flies," a knock on "The Dragon's" ability to generate interest for high-profile events.
Looks like "The American Gangster" may have to issue a retraction.
That's because Machida and his band of merry men helped bring 1.4 million viewers to the UFC Fight Night 36 event on FOX Sports 1, drawing the second biggest audience in "Fight Night" history. First place goes to Sonnen, ironically, who headlined UFC Fight Night 26 against Mauricio Rua last August and sucked in 1.7 million eyeballs.
From MMA Payout:
The ratings are a positive considering it went up against the Olympics and NBA All Star Saturday Night on TNT for a portion of the night. The annual NBA celebration scored an average of 5.7 million viewers with its peak during Fight Night (at 7:45pm/10:45pm quarter hour with 6.7 million viewers). NASCAR on FS1 was a lead-in for the UFC which averaged 3.5 million viewers. So, there was a considerable drop off between the NASCAR and the UFC event but for the UFC this should be seen as positive numbers as this was a Brazilian card which usually does not do well in terms of viewership.
UFC Fight Night 27: "Condit vs. Kampmann 2" stands in third place with 824,000 viewers.
"Machida vs. Mousasi," which took place on Feb. 15, 2014 in Santa Catarina, Brazil, featured Machida's five-round unanimous decision win over Strikeforce import Gegard Mousasi (watch it). In the co-main event, Ronaldo Souza out-worked Francis Carmont to cruise to a sweep on the judges' scorecards (video).
For all the UFC Fight Night 36 event results, videos, highlights, reactions, and more click here.