The Ultimate Fighter 18 episode 5 drew an average of 640,000 viewers earlier this week on the fledgling FOX Sports 1 channel.

That’s down 138,000 viewers from the previous week and just 1,000 viewers above the lowest audience of the season, continuing somewhat of a yo-yo like effect to the show’s ratings so far since switching to the new sports network.

Some have suggested that a pattern is emerging where the female fights are drawing more of an audience than the males.  That’s certainly possible, particularly since some of the female’s on the show like Shayna Baszler and Roxanne Modaferri are already well-known fighters in the MMA community (or at least amongst the hardcores), but it’d be nice to see how things pan out over a few more weeks before subscribing wholeheartedly to that particular theory.

What is for sure though is that the current season isn’t going to get close to the numbers it enjoyed last season while still airing on FX, with TUF 17 averaging around 1.3 million viewers over the course of the season which starred Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen as coaches.

I think the current season with Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate in the coaching roles is interesting enough that it could have got close to that if they’d stayed on FX, but it wasn’t to be.

They can only do as well as circumstances allow them to though and the consolation as things stand is that TUF remains one of FOX Sports 1’s best performing shows week-in, week-out.

TUF 18 Ratings So Far:

Week 1: 762,000
Week 2: 870,000
Week 3: 639,000
Week 4: 778,000
Week 5: 640,000

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Ross launched MMA Insight (previously FightOfTheNight.com) in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.

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