Episode 6 of “The Ultimate Fighter 16” drew an average of 811,000 viewers to FX on Friday night, according to an industry source.
That figure represents an increase from the previous week, when the show’s fifth episode attracted a series-low 624,000 viewers to the network. Overall, “TUF 16” is averaging 855,000 viewers on the season.
Last week it was announced that light heavyweight rivals Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen would coach the next season of the show in 2013 -- an obvious attempt to boost the reality series’ sagging ratings. FX executives also announced that the program will be leaving Friday nights next year.
The sixth installment of “TUF 16” saw Team Nelson member Colton Smith take a majority decision victory against Team Carwin’s Eddy Ellis in a first-round welterweight affair.
“The Ultimate Fighter” began airing on Spike in 2005 and remained on the network through last year. When the Ultimate Fighting Championship joined forces with Fox, the series moved to FX in 2012. “TUF 15” was the first iteration of the reality series to feature live fights at the end of each show, but the UFC has returned to the taped format for the current season.
Featuring former interim heavyweight champion Shane Carwin and “TUF 10” winner Roy Nelson as coaches, “TUF 16” began with 32 welterweights vying for a six-figure UFC contract. Carwin and Nelson -- along with the 170-pound finalists -- will square off at the show’s finale on Dec. 15 in Las Vegas.