UFC on FOX 2 ratings: Event averages 4.7 million viewers, second-best all-time
This past weekend's UFC on FOX 2 event, which featured three main-card bouts, averaged 4.7 million viewers.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the figures with industry sources.
Overall, the Jan. 28 event – which ran two hours and 19 minutes – scored a 3.21 rating among men 18-49 and a 3.21 among men 18-34. It's tied for the second-highest-rated MMA event in U.S. television history.
All of the numbers are down from November's record-setting UFC on FOX 1 event. The FOX-televised broadcast, which featured just one bout with Junior Dos Santos claiming the heavyweight title from Cain Velasquez, averaged 5.7 million viewers. The event also scored a 4.0 household rating among men 18-49 and 4.3 among men 18-34.
The second event – and the first official show that is part of a seven-year UFC-FOX deal that formally began this month – took place at Chicago's sold-out United Center. Rashad Evans claimed a light-heavyweight title shot with a decision victory over Phil Davis in the headliner. In other FOX-televised bouts, which followed prelims on FUEL TV and Facebook, Chael Sonnen edged Michael Bisping to claim a middleweight title shot, and middleweight Chris Weidman kept his perfect record intact with a decision win over Demian Maia.
On Monday, FOX officials announced that – according to overnight-ratings information – UFC on FOX 2 ratings were up 42 percent compared to the network's previous four weeks of Saturday-night programming.
In counter-programming efforts, Spike TV averaged 828,000 viewers for a UFC Fight Night replay and "UFC Unleashed" episodes that aired from 7-11 p.m. ET/PT. The UFC Fight Night replay kicked off the counter-programming strong and averaged 960,000 viewers...
Forrest Griffin and Tito Ortiz call each other out
In fighting, it takes a great rival makes a great champion. Without Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali would not be Muhammad Ali. No Sugar Ray Robinson, no Jake LaMotta. No Micky Ward, no Arturo Gatti. You can go on forever.
MMA does not have the same history prizefighting does, but it is starting to. Tito Ortiz was a great champion. And part of that greatness was defined through rivalries.
The three fights with Ken Shamrock made him rich, and that came after an ongoing feud with the Lion's Den going 1-1 with Guy Mezger, and taking Jerry Bohlander on cuts.
Tito feuded with Chuck Liddell, losing twice.
But perhaps his greatest rivalry was with Forrest Griffin, beating him ny split decision in 2006, and then coming back in 2009 and losing a split decision. Now it is 2012, and the two want to do it one last time.
Griffin and Ortiz appeared on HDNet's "Inside MMA" and made the case, or started it.
UFC's Alistair Overeem charged with battery in Las Vegas
Top UFC heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem has been charged with one count of misdemeanor battery following an incident in a Las Vegas casino soon after his UFC 141 bout this past month.
According to the "Las Vegas Review-Journal," Overeem is slated to appear in court on Feb. 21, and if convicted, he faces a maximum of six months in county jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) had been unable to confirm the long-rumored incident in recent weeks.
Tony Ferguson Fights Dennis Hallman at ‘UFC on FOX 3'
Just two days after wrapping their second show on FOX, the UFC announced a lightweight brawl between Tony Ferguson (Pictured) and Dennis Hallman for their next event on the network.
Ferguson has rattled off two straight wins inside the Octagon since taking “The Ultimate Fighter 13? tournament. He was last seen in December posting a decision victory over Yves Edwards.
Hallman has nearly 70 professional fights under his belt. The veteran submitted John Makdessi last month at UFC 140.
UFC 145: Jon Jones Opens As Massive Favorite Over Rashad Evans
After Rashad Evans beat Phil Davis at UFC on Fox 2, he sat at the post-fight press conference fielding questions about his upcoming bout with rival Jon Jones, currently scheduled as the main event of UFC 145 in Atlanta on April 21st. In one of the answers, he stated that he'd "probably be a huge underdog" going into the bout. Well, he was right about that. Bookmaker was the first site to drop a betting line for Jones vs. Evans, and it's pretty lopsided:
UFC on Fox 2 Tops Network’s Recent Primetime Ratings
UFC on Fox 2 might not have provided as much action as some had hoped, but the event did manage to draw a better rating than the network’s previous month of Saturday primetime programming.
According to Nielsen Media Research, UFC on Fox 2 posted a 2.7/5 household rating, a 42-percent increase from the average for the past four weeks on Fox (1.9/4).
Fox Sports Research projects that the network will win Saturday night in the Adults 18-49 demographic by a wide margin, and might also beat ABC, CBS and NBC in the 18-34 category when official figures are released on Tuesday.
Leonard Garcia Injured - out of UFC 144
The injury bug bites again.
UFC 144 is starting to feel the sting of injuries as Leonard Garcia is the latest to fall victim, forcing him out of his scheduled fight with Tiequan Zhang.
Sources close to the fighter confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that Garcia would be forced off the card in Japan on Monday.
While the nature of the injuries are unknown, Garcia, who is widely considered one of the toughest fighters in the sport, obviously was banged up enough to have to drop out of the fight.
Jorge Lopez out at UFC 143, Matt Riddle now meets Henry Martinez
The lineup shuffling continues for UFC officials, as Jorge Lopez (11-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has been forced out of his planned contest with Matt Riddle (5-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC).
In his place steps octagon newcomer Henry Martinez (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
UFC officials recently announced the change.
Featuring an interim welterweight title fight between Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit UFC 143 takes place Feb. 4 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
Riddle looks to snap a two-fight losing streak, the first such run of his career. A rare fighter who has fought all of his professional contests in the octagon, he was beaten by UFC newcomer Lance Benoist this past September but was rewarded with a "Fight of the Night" bonus following the UFC Fight Night 25 bout. Riddle also dropped a decision to Sean Pierson at 2010's UFC 124 card.
He now faces Martinez, a Greg Jackson product who makes his UFC debut. Martinez, who competed as a featherweight in 2009 at Bellator Fighting Championships 2 (where he suffered his lone career loss), carried a four-fight win streak into the contest. All four wins have come via submission.
UFC on FOX 2 draws a reported 17,425 attendance for $1.2 million live gate
Saturday's UFC on FOX 2 event drew an announced attendance of 17,425 and a live gate of $1.2 million.
UFC representative Ant Evans announced the figures in the night's post-event press conference, which MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) attended.
UFC on FOX 2 took place at United Center in Chicago and featured former light heavyweight champ Rashad Evans earning a one-sided unanimous-decision win over Phil Davis in the network-television headliner.
The Illinois Athletic Commission will verify the figures and release an official tally early next week.
While the number of "comp" or free tickets was not revealed, the figures represent an average revenue of $68.87 per ticket issued...
UFC on FOX 2 official weigh-in results: Contender fights official as all hit mark
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) was on scene and reporting live from today's UFC on FOX 2 official fighter weigh-ins, where all 20 event competitors successfully made weight for Saturday's event.
Today's festivities took place at The Chicago Theatre, and a vocal crowd made their presence known as event headliners Rashad Evans (205) and Phil Davis (205) hit the scale.
Co-headliners Michael Bisping (185) and Chael Sonnen (185) also received vocal welcomes before standing forehead-to-forehead and engaging in a little last-minute trashtalk.
Tomorrow's network-televised event takes place at Chicago's United Center. In addition to the main card on FOX, prelims air on FUEL TV and stream on Facebook.
The full UFC on FOX 2 weigh-in results include:
Sotiropoulos Out; Eiji Mitsuoka Faces Takanori Gomi at UFC 144
An injury has forced former ‘Ultimate Fighter’ competitor George Sotiropoulos out of UFC 144 in Japan. In his place Eiji Mitsuoka will step in and face Takanori Gomi.
Sources close to the fight confirmed the news to MMAWeekly.com on Friday with bout agreements issued for the Feb contest.
Eiji Mitsuoka will make his UFC debut on just a month’s notice, where he will fight at home in Japan against former Pride champion Takanori Gomi.
#OpUFC: Anonymous Answers Dana White's Challenge, Hacks UFC.tv
UFC president Dana White responded to last weekend's hacking of UFC.com by hackers apparently unrelated to Anonymous by calling out the hacker organization and daring them to attack the UFC again. Careful what you wish for. We posted last night on Dana White's personal information being posted on the Internet by hackers. The attacks were ramped up over night with UFC.tv being defaced after White's Twitter beef with Anonymous members.
With 'TUF' gig looming, UFC champ Cruz looking forward to beating up Faber
UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz (19-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) is running out of interesting storylines.
Win the WEC title? Check. UFC belt? Check. Avenge your lone career loss? Check.
So with Cruz now preparing to face his nemesis, Urijah Faber (26-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC), for the second time in just three fights, is "The Dominator" struggling for motivation? Hardly. After all, who wouldn't want to beat up their annoying co-worker?
"For me, fighting for a world title is all the motivation I need to get ready for a fight, period," Cruz told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Adding the fact that Faber is a [expletive] just makes it a little easier, you know?"
Of course, prior to their summer fight, Cruz and Faber will serve as opposing coaches on the upcoming season of "The Ultimate Fighter 15," the first edition of the series to air on FX. The two have a rivalry that dates back to 2007, when Faber became the first (and to date only) man to defeat Cruz.
Jay Jeans from MMA@Work interviews Che "Beautiful" Mills
Che Mills is an English mixed martial artist and current UFC Welterweight. He is a former Cage Rage British welterweight champ, and holds 2 notable KO wins over DREAM Welterweight Champion Marius Zaromskis.
MMA@Work's very own, Jay Jeans, recently was able to catch up with Che.
The full audio of the interview can be found below.
Dana White Open to Nate Marquardt, Not Anthony Johnson
CHICAGO -- UFC President Dana White confirmed on Thursday that Anthony Johnson has been released from the UFC and won't be welcome back until he can prove that he has put his weight problems behind him. But White wasn't quite so adamant that another fighter he released, Nate Marquardt, wouldn't be welcome to return to the Octagon.
With Johnson, White said missing weight by 11 pounds at UFC 142 made it clear that he doesn't belong in the UFC. White also specifically ruled out the possibility of Johnson fighting for Strikeforce, and said that Johnson needs to go to another promotion, make weight and win fights before the UFC would consider giving him another chance.
"He needs to go fight somewhere else, get some wins, come in on weight," White said of Johnson. "He needs to prove to me that he can be a professional, show up on weight and do the things he needs to do. If he does, we can talk."
When asked about Marquardt, however, White sounded open to the possibility that he could re-sign with the UFC. Marquardt last fought at UFC 128 in March, defeating Dan Miller, but was cut by the UFC after his testosterone replacement therapy resulted in a high testosterone count, causing the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission to cancel his fight. White was furious at the time, but several months later he sounds willing to forgive and forget.
"I don't dislike Nate," White said. "I like Nate very much. We'll see what happens."
Contract dispute leaves Yoislandy Izquierdo's status in doubt for UFC on FUEL TV 1
Cuban lightweight Yoislandy Izquierdo may not be making his UFC debut in February, after all.
Despite an announcement from the UFC earlier this month that Izquierdo would meet Bernardo Magalhaes at February's UFC on FUEL TV 1 event, an ongoing contract dispute with the Florida-based Championship Fighting Alliance may prevent "Cuba" from appearing in the octagon.
MMAjunkie.com today confirmed with sources close to the fighter that an existing deal with Championship Fighting Alliance, where Izquierdo currently serves as lightweight champion, may prevent his departure from the organization.
UFC's Dana White on SOPA website attackers: 'Knock it down again tonight – do it'
If you were monitoring Twitter on Sunday, news that the UFC website had been rerouted by anti-SOPA hackers didn't get much of a rise out of its president, Dana White.
Not enough to distract him from watching his beloved New England Patriots win a trip to the Super Bowl.
Things haven't changed much since then. As the UFC allots additional resources to fight a repeat occurrence of the cyber-attack, White today issued a challenge to those who would hijack the UFC's URL.
Rashad Evans, Phil Davis turn up trashtalking heat in UFC on FOX 2 build-up
Insulting your opponent, or "talking up the fight," is part of the job being in the UFC, Rashad Evans believes.
"It's like personal, but not really personal-personal," Evans (16-1-1 MMA, 11-1-1 UFC) said today during a pre-event press conference in support of UFC on FOX 2, which takes place Saturday at Chicago's United Center and airs live on FOX.
Then he proceeded to put in a good day's work against Phil Davis (9-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC), who stands between him and a shot at the light-heavyweight title.
Davis got him working early when the topic of wrestling was brought up. He had previously asserted that he would have won if the two had met in college while he was at Michigan State and Davis was at Penn State.
As a four-time Division I All-American and NCAA champion, the normally congenial Davis took humorous exception to the claim.
"Cocaine's a helluva drug," he said. "And it's crazy what the kids do nowadays. I encourage imagination, and it's good that he has that, but no. He'll never beat me in wrestling – not thumb wrestling, not anything of the sort."
Clearly agitated, Evans corrected Davis when he tried to assert that they wrestled in the same division (Evans competed at 174 pounds while Davis was at 197 pounds) and said Davis won his NCAA title on a "soft" year in competition.