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UFC on FOX 22 ratings teach an important marketing lesson


Last night's UFC on FOX show told a marketing lesson that can't be ignored.

A show headlined by Paige VanZant vs. Michelle Waterson and Mickey Gall vs. Sage Northcutt did 2.69 million viewers on the fast nationals.

The number is 17 to 20 percent above what the December shows have done the past three years with championship fights headlining in 2013 and 2015 and a top heavyweight fight of Junior Dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic as the 2014 main event.

Urijah Faber's retirement fight may have also played heavily into the number. In the arena, it was clearly the real main event at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.

The fast nationals measure the first two hours of the show everywhere but the West Coast, which is not figured in because it measures 8-10 p.m. Pacific, and the show aired from 5-7:15 p.m.

That means the VanZant vs. Waterson fight, which started after 10 p.m. is not figured into the average, and with Faber and VanZant being West Coast fighters, that should help the growth when that is figured in.

A card promoted around VanZant vs. Waterson doing so well, coming on the heels of Holly Holm vs. Valentina Shevchenko doing the best summer numbers in years, shows that audiences for women's main events are strong on FOX.

The UFC show was the least-watched show on the four networks last night, but in the 18-49 demo, which is what FOX gears the show toward, it was second only to SNL Christmas on NBC.