Saturday night’s UFC on Fox 5 broadcast peaked with 5.7 million viewers during the evening’s lightweight title headliner, network officials announced Tuesday.
According to the official release, the main card broadcast averaged 4.4 million viewers, a considerable increase from Sunday’s initial estimate of 3.4 million. The viewership figure tops the UFC’s previous two efforts on Fox’s flagship network, which each netted 2.4 million viewers. UFC on Fox 5 still trails the first and second cards in the series, which attracted 5.7 million and 4.7 million observers, respectively.
Saturday night’s event took place at Seattle’s KeyArena and saw lightweight champion Benson Henderson successfully defend his belt against a game but overmatched challenger in Nate Diaz. Henderson damaged Diaz’s eye early in the bout, an injury which affected the Californian throughout the five-round contest. “Smooth” floored Diaz twice and continually used his wrestling to put the southpaw on his back while defending submission attempts en route to retaining his title via unanimous decision.
The four-fight main card also saw Swedish prospect Alexander Gustafsson take one step closer to a title shot by earning a unanimous decision over former champion Mauricio Rua. Rory MacDonald and Matt Brown also emerged victorious on Saturday, earning wins over B.J. Penn and Mike Swick to kick off the Fox broadcast.
The Las Vegas-based promotion returns to network television on Jan. 26, when Demetrious Johnson defends his flyweight title against John Dodson in the main event of UFC on Fox 6 at the United Center in Chicago.