This is a surprise.
Last Saturday night's (Dec. 3, 2011) Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 15 Finale drew an average of 2.5 million viewers for the live Spike TV broadcast from the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.
According to numbers released by the cable network today, the conclusion to the reality series garnered an overall household rating of 1.7 with a 2.4 among men 18-49 and a 2.9 among men 18-34.
By comparison, TUF 13 Finale back in June drew an average of 1.8 million viewers and a 1.32 household rating, featuring Anthony Ferguson's crowning and Clay Guida vs. Anthony Pettis.
The numbers come as a shock due to the fact that neither Spike TV nor the UFC did much of anything to promote the show. There wasn't even a pre-fight press conference and when UFC sent out information regarding the show, it simply told fans to "check your local listings."
Intense rivalry is intense. But, this time, all parties got what they wanted without even trying. Can't beat that.
TUF 14 Finale featured middleweight coaches Michael Bisping and Jason Miller squaring off to settle the differences they created in the TUF gym inside the cage. And that's what they did, as "The Count" brutalized an exhausted "Mayhem," stopping him via strikes in the third round.
It was "most lopsided fight" UFC President Dana White has ever seen.
In other action, John Dodson and Diego Brandao were crowned Ultimate Fighters in the bantamweight and featherweight divisions, knocking out and submitting T.J. Dillashaw and Dennis Bermudez, respectively.
For complete TUF 14 Finale results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here and here.