Good to Know: The 20 Most-Watched MMA Fights in U.S. History

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juanez13
10/16/08 10:12:54PM
Using minute-by-minute Nielsen ratings data, MMA Weekly’s Ivan Trembow has painstakingly put together a list of the 20 individual MMA fights with the highest U.S. viewership. As he clarifies: “Viewership levels are based on live viewership, plus same-day DVR, rounded to the nearest 1,000 viewers, and the times listed are ET/PT. The indicated times begin at the opening bell of a fight and end at the minute in which the winner of the fight is known.” A few things to keep in mind before we get to the list:

Pay-per-view fights are excluded due to a lack of reliable information, so the list only includes UFC fights on Spike and EliteXC shows on CBS.

Keep in mind that these aren’t even close to being the most-watched MMA fights worldwide. Due to Japan’s love of New Year’s Eve freak show bouts, a fight would need to draw over 30 million sets of eyeballs to crack the top five. In the U.S., only a bout between Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano would come close to putting up those kinds of numbers. So here we go…




1. EliteXC on CBS (5/31/2008): Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson— 7.281 million viewers (Aired from 11:27 PM to 11:40 PM)

2. UFC on Spike TV (10/10/2006): Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock— 6.524 million viewers (Aired from 9:42 PM to 9:45 PM)

3. EliteXC on CBS (10/4/08): Seth Petruzelli vs. Kimbo Slice— 6.451 million viewers (Aired from 11:08 PM to 11:08 PM)

4. EliteXC on CBS (5/31/2008): Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith— 5.867 million viewers (Aired from 10.39 PM to 10:57 PM)

5. UFC on Spike TV (9/8/2007): Quinton Jackson vs. Dan Henderson— 5.811 million viewers (Aired from 11:29 PM to 12:03 AM)

6. EliteXC on CBS (5/31/2008): Gina Carano vs. Kaitlin Young— 5.508 million viewers (Aired from 10:09 PM to 10:17 PM)

7. UFC on Spike TV (9/8/2007): Michael Bisping vs. Matt Hamill— 5.475 million viewers (Aired from 10:41 PM to 11:06 PM)

8. EliteXC on CBS (10/4/08): Jake Shields vs. Paul Daley— 5.338 million viewers (Aired from 10:34 PM to 10:44 PM)

9. EliteXC on CBS (10/4/08): Gina Carano vs. Kelly Kobold— 5.171 million viewers (Aired from 9:45 PM to 9:59 PM)

10. EliteXC on CBS (10/4/08): Andrei Arlovski vs. Roy Nelson— 5.154 million viewers (Aired from 10:12 PM to 10:20 PM)

11. UFC on Spike TV (10/10/2006): Kendall Grove vs. Chris Price— 5.100 million viewers (Aired from 9:13 PM to 9:17 PM)

12. UFC on Spike TV (9/8/2007): Cheick Kongo vs. Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic— 5.098 million viewers (Aired from 9:58 PM to 10:24 PM)

13. UFC on Spike TV (9/8/2007): Marcus Davis vs. Paul Taylor— 5.023 million viewers (Aired from 9:35 PM to 9:39 PM)

14. UFC on Spike TV (7/19/2008): Anderson Silva vs. James Irvin— 4.795 million viewers (Aired from 11:38 PM to 11:38 PM)

15. EliteXC on CBS (5/31/2008): Joey Villasenor vs. Phil Baroni— 4.348 million viewers (Aired from 9:47 PM to 9:48 PM)

16. UFC on Spike TV (10/10/2006): Jason MacDonald vs. Ed Herman— 4.297 millon viewers (Aired from 8:44 PM to 8:47 PM)

17. UFC on Spike TV (9/8/2007): Houston Alexander vs. Alessio Sakara— 4.204 million viewers (Aired from 9:13 PM to 9:14 PM)

18. UFC on Spike TV (10/10/2006): Matt Hamill vs. Seth Petruzelli— 4.007 million viewers (Aired from 8:09 PM to 8:28 PM)

19. UFC on Spike TV (7/19/2008): Brandon Vera vs. Reese Andy— 3.847 million viewers (Aired from 10:58 PM to 11:19 PM)

20. EliteXC on CBS (5/31/2008): Brett Rogers vs. Jon Murphy— 3.824 million viewers (Aired from 9:26 PM to 9:27 PM)

Naturaldisaster
10/16/08 10:40:22PM
it really makes me sad that 9 of the 20 fights are elite XC fights
juanez13
10/16/08 10:56:30PM

Posted by Naturaldisaster

it really makes me sad that 9 of the 20 fights are elite XC fights



Should also be noted that CBS is available to a much bigger audience than Spike does, and is a more well known channel , which imo plays a big part.
Twenty20Dollars
10/16/08 11:07:59PM
These are only cable TV fights not PPV fights.
CantAndleDaRiddum
10/16/08 11:20:57PM

Posted by Twenty20Dollars

These are only cable TV fights not PPV fights.


u r correct
aaa9erh8er
10/16/08 11:55:53PM
thatas why then elite xc has had more tv fights then the ufc
Naturaldisaster
10/16/08 11:59:21PM

Posted by juanez13


Posted by Naturaldisaster

it really makes me sad that 9 of the 20 fights are elite XC fights



Should also be noted that CBS is available to a much bigger audience than Spike does, and is a more well known channel , which imo plays a big part.



well I just listened to an interview where dana was talkin about CBS and Spike. and he says spike is available to like 97 million homes, and that CBS is available in like 106 million homes so theres not that much of a difference really
grappler0000
10/17/08 1:16:28AM

Posted by Naturaldisaster


Posted by juanez13


Posted by Naturaldisaster

it really makes me sad that 9 of the 20 fights are elite XC fights



Should also be noted that CBS is available to a much bigger audience than Spike does, and is a more well known channel , which imo plays a big part.



well I just listened to an interview where dana was talkin about CBS and Spike. and he says spike is available to like 97 million homes, and that CBS is available in like 106 million homes so theres not that much of a difference really



Uh, those numbers may be fairly close in availability, but the normal viewership for both channels are miles apart.
Naturaldisaster
10/17/08 3:54:23AM

Posted by grappler0000


Posted by Naturaldisaster


Posted by juanez13


Posted by Naturaldisaster

it really makes me sad that 9 of the 20 fights are elite XC fights



Should also be noted that CBS is available to a much bigger audience than Spike does, and is a more well known channel , which imo plays a big part.



well I just listened to an interview where dana was talkin about CBS and Spike. and he says spike is available to like 97 million homes, and that CBS is available in like 106 million homes so theres not that much of a difference really



Uh, those numbers may be fairly close in availability, but the normal viewership for both channels are miles apart.



true. but it just disgusts me that Kimbo has 2 of the top most watched fights.
CantAndleDaRiddum
10/17/08 4:30:21AM

Posted by Naturaldisaster



true. but it just disgusts me that Kimbo has 2 of the top most watched fights.



dont let it bother u

americans like watching kimbo slice for the same reasons they like mike tyson


uh oh.....has anyone even thought about the fact that these 2 guys might fight one day?????

haggiswashere
10/17/08 9:23:09PM

Posted by Naturaldisaster


Posted by grappler0000


Posted by Naturaldisaster


Posted by juanez13


Posted by Naturaldisaster

it really makes me sad that 9 of the 20 fights are elite XC fights



Should also be noted that CBS is available to a much bigger audience than Spike does, and is a more well known channel , which imo plays a big part.



well I just listened to an interview where dana was talkin about CBS and Spike. and he says spike is available to like 97 million homes, and that CBS is available in like 106 million homes so theres not that much of a difference really



Uh, those numbers may be fairly close in availability, but the normal viewership for both channels are miles apart.



true. but it just disgusts me that Kimbo has 2 of the top most watched fights.



ya but go look at how many viewers the ufc payperview events have compared to kimbo and you will feel better lol
Aether
10/17/08 10:45:23PM
oh no guys, it's not because people wanted to watch kimbo. Can we get that genius tuvok to come in here and explain to everyone that people were actually tuning in to watch james thompson and seth petruzelli?

He's really smart and he understands this better than the entire rest of the planet. Tuvok please come explain to everyone that Kimbo isn't EliteXC's biggest draw. None of us are smart enough to understand your amazing logic.
rabbit915
10/18/08 2:51:56AM
Anyone else suprised that Seth Petruzelli showed up twice on that list?
ThaAxeMurderer7
10/18/08 3:38:40AM

Posted by CantAndleDaRiddum


Posted by Naturaldisaster



true. but it just disgusts me that Kimbo has 2 of the top most watched fights.



dont let it bother u

americans like watching kimbo slice for the same reasons they like mike tyson


uh oh.....has anyone even thought about the fact that these 2 guys might fight one day?????




I can see Shaw on the phone with Tyson right now.

Shaw: Hey Mike, I would like to set up a fight between you and Kimbo. You just have to promise me you won't take it to the ground.

Mike: Ok Jared. No one can stop me. I'm the most brutal and ruthless champion ever. My stand up is impetuous. My style is impregnable. I wanna eat his beard and his children. Oh...uh, can I get my fight purse up front?

CantAndleDaRiddum
10/18/08 3:43:45AM

Posted by ThaAxeMurderer7


Posted by CantAndleDaRiddum


Posted by Naturaldisaster



true. but it just disgusts me that Kimbo has 2 of the top most watched fights.



dont let it bother u

americans like watching kimbo slice for the same reasons they like mike tyson


uh oh.....has anyone even thought about the fact that these 2 guys might fight one day?????




I can see Shaw on the phone with Tyson right now.

Shaw: Hey Mike, I would like to set up a fight between you and Kimbo. You just have to promise me you won't take it to the ground.

Mike: Ok Jared. No one can stop me. I'm the most brutal and ruthless champion ever. My stand up is impetuous. My style is impregnable. I wanna eat his beard and his children. Oh...uh, can I get my fight purse up front?




lol hilarious.....gotta spread the love tough
CantAndleDaRiddum
10/18/08 3:44:28AM

Posted by Aether

oh no guys, it's not because people wanted to watch kimbo. Can we get that genius tuvok to come in here and explain to everyone that people were actually tuning in to watch james thompson and seth petruzelli?

He's really smart and he understands this better than the entire rest of the planet. Tuvok please come explain to everyone that Kimbo isn't EliteXC's biggest draw. None of us are smart enough to understand your amazing logic.



uh oh i sense a rivalry
jiujitsufreak74
10/18/08 12:19:38PM

Posted by CantAndleDaRiddum


Posted by Aether

oh no guys, it's not because people wanted to watch kimbo. Can we get that genius tuvok to come in here and explain to everyone that people were actually tuning in to watch james thompson and seth petruzelli?

He's really smart and he understands this better than the entire rest of the planet. Tuvok please come explain to everyone that Kimbo isn't EliteXC's biggest draw. None of us are smart enough to understand your amazing logic.



uh oh i sense a rivalry



someone has to pick up where cmill left off
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