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PVZ, Sage & Urijah lead UFC on FOX to best ratings in nearly three years

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The final numbers are in for Saturday's UFC on FOX 22 broadcast, headlined by Michelle Waterson's first round submission win over Paige VanZant and also featuring Sage Northcutt and Urijah Faber on the undercard.

The show did 3,178,000 viewers for the four-fight main card, which was the best number since 3.2 million tuned in to UFC on FOX 10 in January 2014.

It's notable that this was the second straight televised fight for Northcutt on a show that did impressive TV ratings. His UFC 200 prelim fight with Enrique Marin set a record for viewership on FS2 with 582,000 viewers.

The only other two times that a VanZant fight has aired on television have both been FOX shows and the ratings for those fights were nothing out of the ordinary. In fact the last fight, with Bec Rawlings, was on one of only two UFC on FOX shows that failed to break two million viewers.

Faber's final fight of his career may have helped Saturday's rating as well, although none of his recent televised fights have done numbers that were particularly notable. Outside of Conor McGregor, he has consistently been the biggest draw in UFC of anyone below 155 lbs since debuting in 2012, though.

The prelims for Saturday's show, which aired on FS1, did 679,000 viewers. The last time the prelims for a FOX show aired on FS1, they did 702,000 but the average over the last three years has been about 648,000.

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In other MMA ratings news, Friday's Bellator 169 on Spike TV did 643,000 viewers, their best number since September. This was for a taped show from Dublin with no star power outside of the main event of King Mo vs. Satoshi Ishii.

There has been virtually no ratings difference when Bellator runs either live or on tape delay with the international shows they've run of late.