Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to the FX airwaves this past Saturday night (Feb. 25, 2012) by broadcasting a live two-hour "Prelims" special for the UFC 144: "Edgar vs. Henderson" event from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
And the ratings just keep growing and growing and growing.
The third episode airing on the new network garnered 1.5 million viewers, according to Sherdog.com. That marks yet another increase for the promotion, as it saw 1.3 million viewers tune in for the UFC 143: "Diaz vs. Condit" event this past Feb. 4.
To get a feel for how much they've improved in such a short time, the first broadcast on FX drew just 880,000 viewers for the UFC 142: "Aldo vs. Mendes" preliminary card back on Jan. 14.
Fans who tuned into the UFC 144 "Prelims" special were treated to four undercard fights that had it all, from a sweet submission to a technical knockout to what many felt was a robbery.
Takanori Gomi got back to his winning ways by weathering an early storm to come back in the second round to finish Eiji Mitsuoka via technical knockout. Not only did "The Fireball Kid" win in Japan, he likely saved himself from the firing squad.
The same can't be said for Norifumi Yamamoto, who suffered his third consecutive defeat inside the Octagon when he fell prey to "Submission of the Night" winner Vaughan Lee.
Takeya Mizugaki got jobbed by the judges in his bantamweight showdown against Chris Cariaso, losing a unanimous decision. Or at least that's what UFC President Dana White thinks, as he paid Mizugaki his win bonus and will be treating him as though he was the actual victor.
Cause you know, who gives a shit what the judges think.
Finally, Riki Fukuda picked up an uneventful victory over Steve Cantwell by way of unanimous decision in their middleweight scrap.
For a more in depth look at the UFC 144: "Edgar vs. Henderson" preliminary card results click here.