The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil got underway on Sunday night on the nation’s biggest television channel Globo TV and it proved to be an instant hit with viewers.

According to figures emerging from Brazil yesterday a whopping 8 million viewers tuned into the show which featured a series of elimination fights to discover who would officially make their way into the TUF house for the remainder of the season.

Furthermore, it’s estimated that the ratings increased by 15% during the episode which also featured the coaches for the season, Vitor Belfot and Wanderlei Silva who watched the featherweight and middleweight fights from cageside along with UFC president Dana White.

Overall it’s yet another sign, as if another was needed, that MMA has officially exploded in Brazil, the birthplace of mixed martial arts.

The UFC plans to fully capitalize on the massive amount of interest in the sport there currently when they host a stadium event in Rio in July which will feature Belfort Vs Silva in the co-main event slot, while the region’s biggest star Anderson Silva will headline the show against Chael Sonnen.