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Boxing beats UFC on a good ratings night for combat sports

UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Ortega did the best numbers for a Fight Night since September.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Fresno-Swanson vs Ortega Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

While boxing emerged the big winner on Saturday night ratings wise, the UFC pulled some of it's best Fight Night numbers in a while as well. 1.73 million people tuned in to ESPN to watch Vasiliy Lomachenko force Guillermo Rigondeaux to quit on the stool, a number probably helped by the Heisman Trophy awards as a lead in.

Meanwhile on FOX Sports 1, the UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Ortega event averaged 870,000 viewers across the broadcast. That's the best numbers for a UFC Fight Night on the network since Luke Rockhold fought David Branch at UFC Fight Night 116 in September.

But interestingly enough, ratings didn't peak during the entertaining main event where Brian Ortega choked out Cub Swanson just shy of 1AM EST. Instead, it was opening fight on the FOX Sports 1 card between Benito Lopez and Albert Morales that pulled 1.037 million viewers. More evidence that late nights are hurting UFC ratings? Or was it a result of channel surfers from the Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux fight?

Whatever magic ratings juice was floating around on the weekend, it didn't make it all the way to Bellator. Their tape delayed broadcast from Italy headlined by Rafael Carvalho vs. Alessio Sakara only pulled 394,000 viewers.

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