Spike TV’s UFC 118 prelim broadcast produced a slight ratings dip compared with previous shows, with an average of 1.1 million viewers tuning into to see two fights prior to the main card on pay-per-view.

The previous low of 1.2 million was set in March of this year for the UFC 111 show, with the highest ratings currently standing at 1.7 million for the UFC 109 prelims show in February.

This isn’t likely to come as too much of a surprise to anyone given that the prelim fights chosen were not ‘must see’ fights.  The UFC had originally intended to have Joe Lauzon fighting the UK’s Terry Etim, but Etim pulled out injured forcing the promotion to look outwith their roster for a late replacement, eventually bringing in former TUF fighter Gabe Ruediger.

The show was also expected to see veteran UFC star Phil Baroni squaring off against John Salter, but Baroni also suffered an injury and so Nick Lentz Vs Andre Winner was promoted to the Spike TV portion of the card.

Figures released today showed that there were actually 1.2 million viewers tuning in at the start of the show, but by the end they were down to just 1.05 million.  That’s generally the opposite of the normal trend during the UFC broadcasts.

Why did that occur?

Two words – Nick Lentz.  The wrestler put on one of the most boring performances in recent memory by pressing Winner up against the fence for three rounds while the crowd booed their dissaproval.

It’s somewhat unfortunate that people turned off, because it meant that they missed a stellar performance by Lauzon in the next fight, steamrollering over Ruediger in just 121 seconds to huge acclaim from his hometown fans in Boston.

Despite the series low figure the broadcast was still the highest rated program in it’s timeslot for 18-34 and 18-49 year-old men.

Earlier it was announced that Friday’s live UFC 118 weigh-in show on Spike pulled in 380,000 viewers.  That was also down on the 645,000 who tuned in for the UFC 116 weigh-ins, but Spike TV execs are said to be still relatively happy with the numbers.

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