UFC Fight Night 38 this past Sunday night drew an average of 936,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1 and peaked with 1.25 million viewers during the main event between Dan Henderson and Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua.
That makes it the third most watched ‘Fight Night’ show on FS1 so far which is sure to please, and perhaps surprise, the UFC given it aired in an unfamiliar Sunday night slot.
Heading into the event the general feeling was that going up against primetime TV behemoths like ‘The Walking Dead’ and a major sporting event in the NCAA basketball tournament would hurt the UFC’s ratings, but that doesn’t appear to have been the case at all.
The fact that Henderson and ‘Shogun’s’ first fight was an instant classic may have helped, but both fighters have struggled in the few years since then and the rest of the UFC Fight Night 38 card appeared to lack star power, very much catering to the Brazilian market with homegrown talent.
However, it has to be said the fighters really delivered on the night, with lots of quick, exciting finishes and another thriller to be found in the main event.
While this one event doesn’t signal for certain that Sunday nights are guaranteed to be a success for the UFC, this past weekend’s ratings are promising enough that it’s likely we’ll see FOX Sports experiment with another one or two events on this day in the future.