by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
There’s no denying it: Kimbo Slice sells.
Spike TV’s David Schwarz on Monday informed MMAWeekly.com that Nielsen numbers are in for The Ultimate Fighter finale. The Nielsen totals, which includes the live telecast and adds in all replays for the following seven days, pushed the average number of viewers for the Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson versus Houston Alexander fight up from 5.2 million for the live telecast to 6 million total.
The season 10 finale averaged 3.7 million viewers over the course of the three-hour live telecast, and 4.2 million with the seven-day replay window.
Even minus the replay viewership, the ratings were strong enough to make the Kimbo versus Alexander fight the most watched UFC bout of 2009, the finale the most watched final episode in Ultimate Fighter history, and shattered the series’ average viewership.
The previous nine seasons of the series averaged two million viewers per episode. Season 10 averaged 3.5 million, according to Spike TV, which was bolstered by the episode featuring Kimbo versus eventual season winner Roy Nelson. Their episode drew an average of 5.3 million viewers, including 6.1 million that tuned in during the time of their fight.
Both of Kimbo’s fights this season are firmly notched amongst the top ten most watched non-pay-per-view fights in mixed martial arts history in the United States, as are his two bouts for EliteXC on CBS.