The early TV ratings figures are in for last night’s UFC On FOX 3 event and unfortunately they are far lower than was anticipated.

According to just 2.25 million viewers tuned in during the two hour broadcast on FOX, scoring a 1.0 ratings amongst adults 18-49.

It should be stressed that this is just an estimate based on’ fast averages’ and the numbers should go up in the coming days when all the data is collated from both the east and west coast, but to put it bluntly, if it ends up being anything close to that then it’s a dire for both the UFC and FOX and a real cause for concern.

By way of comparison, UFC on FOX 1 average 5.7 million viewers and UFC on FOX 2 pulled 4.7 million, over double what last night’s show appears to have produced.

The only silver lining on a very dark cloud indeed is that the UFC broadcast was actually No.1 for it’s timeslot for adults 18-49, but in terms of overall viewers it was beaten out by pretty much everything else on the major channels, including repeats of NCIS, Shark Tank and the movie ‘Hancock’.

Leading into the event it had been anticipated that the ratings would be lower than those two shows given that there was a lack of star power on the card and it hadn’t received the same promotional push as the previous two events.

In hindsight you could also factor in the Mayweather Vs Cotto boxing PPV event later that same night, the launch of ‘The Avengers’ movie at the box office which is producing record-breaking audiences, NBA playoffs and the fact it was a May holiday weekend.

Even so this early estimate will still come as a shock, barely pulling in more than some ‘Fight Night’ events on Spike TV used to in previous years.

The irony of all this is that this was in fact by far the most entertaining event so far in the FOX series, delivering competitive matches and three finishes.

Stay tuned for update figures in the coming hours / days and keep your fingers crossed that they improve.