The numbers for the first ever UFC on Fox broadcast shattered all previous records for a live MMA event on network television with the headline fight between Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez peaking at over 8.8 million viewers.
In March 2012, the UFC will move their long running reality series the ‘Ultimate Fighter’ over to Fox’s cable station FX, with live fights running every Friday night for 13 weeks.
While Fox Sports Chairman David Hill has said on numerous occasions that he doesn’t like to predict ratings, UFC President Dana White won’t stand beside him in joint paranoia.
White expects very big things from the new ‘Ultimate Fighter’ when it moves to FX for its 15th season next year.
“Now that we’ve got this new platform, going on big Fox and FX, the amount of viewers that are going to watch, I mean this season of the ‘Ultimate Fighter’ with no promotion whatsoever is pulling between 1.5 and 1.8 million viewers,” White said.
“We’ll more than double that when we go onto FX. I mean we’ll probably have more than 3 million viewers on FX watching the ‘Ultimate Fighter’.”
The new format of the ‘Ultimate Fighter’ will have fighters living in the house for 13 weeks, training together under coaches, and competing in live contests every Friday night on FX.
At the show’s conclusion, the finalists will battle it out while the coaches will also fight to close out the season.
White believes the new format will be a hit with old fans and new fans alike, and beyond TUF 15, he’s genuinely just excited for what the UFC will become under the Fox family of networks.
“The work that we do in the next two years is more important that the work that we’ve done in last ten,” said White.
Judging by what’s in the works so far, White is absolutely speaking the truth.