UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields set all kinds of records and marked numerous firsts for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The event drew the largest mixed martial arts audience ever in North America, pulled in a record $12.075 million gate, and was the promotion’s first stadium event.
The UFC 129 euphoria didn’t exactly carry over into any record ratings for the preliminary bouts telecast live on Spike TV in the U.S., but the show did pull in 1.5 million viewers, slightly above the 1.45 million average since the series’ inception. The UFC 126 Prelims Live holds the viewership record for preliminary bouts on Spike with 2.0 million viewers.
The ratings were strong enough to once again propel Spike TV to the number one slot in the key advertiser demographics of Men 18-49 and Men 18-34 among basic cable networks.
Canadian Rory MacDonald staked his claim as a rising contender in the UFC welterweight division with a dominant performance over Nate Diaz on the UFC 129 Prelims Live telecast. Veteran Jake Ellenberger wowed fans with a first round knockout of Sean Pierson on the show, marking his fourth straight victory in the Octagon.