The undercard special for UFC 148 averaged 1.8 million viewers on FX, a new high for a live UFC broadcast on the Fox-owned cable network.
Sherdog.com confirmed the figure with an industry source Tuesday morning. The viewership figure surpasses the previous high of 1.6 million viewers set by the UFC 145 prelims in April.
UFC 148 took place Saturday at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The evening’s main card saw UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva defend his belt for the 10th time by stopping challenger Chael Sonnen in the second round of their highly anticipated rematch.
The preliminary broadcast on FX contained four bouts, all of which went the distance and resulted in unanimous decisions. Lightweight Shane Roller used his superior wrestling to top former WEC and UFC title challenger John Alessio, while middleweight Constantinos Philippou survived a scary, accidental eye poke to outlast Riki Fukuda. In two other lightweight bouts, Khabib Nurmagomedov kept his perfect record intact by using his aggressive, windmilling style to outpoint lightweight staple Gleison Tibau, and hard-hitting Melvin Guillard bested Royler Gracie jiu-jitsu black belt Fabricio Camoes to close out the FX broadcast.
Prior to the televised offering, a lightweight contest between six-time UFC vet Rafaello Oliveira and Floridian prospect Yoislandy Izquierdo was streamed live on Facebook. Oliveira outpointed “Cuba” to hand him his second straight Octagon defeat.