The UFC got the year off to a great start on the TV ratings front this past weekend with ‘UFC On FX 7’ delivering their biggest audience yet on the channel.

An average of 1,857,000 viewers watched the main card live on FX, breaking the previous ‘UFC On FX’ record of 1.4 million million for ‘UFC On FX 2’ early last year and up dramatically from the 972,000 who watched ‘UFC On FX 6’ event.

While we don’t have the numbers to hand yet it appears that FX were delighted with how the show performed in their key demographics too.

“FX was the No. 1 network in primetime, 8-11 p.m., among people 18-49 on Saturday night,” FX Exec Chuck Saftler tells MMAjunkie. “FX beat all broadcast networks and all cable networks in primetime Saturday night, which is an exceptional feat. It’s the first time in the network’s history we have literally beaten the whole field on a single night. We beat NBC, ABC, CBS – everybody.”

There was reason for celebration over at Fuel TV as well with the prelim card drawing 255,000 viewers which makes it the most watched program ever in the history of the channel.

Great news for the UFC, though truth be told it’s hard to say exactly why it did so well. On paper the card looked weak and the prelims turned out to be pretty poor, though the main card at least had a number of finishes and an exciting end to the main event which saw Vitor Belfort stop Michael Bisping with a head kick.

It could be that it’s the start of a benefit being seen from moving the ‘UFC On FX’ series to Saturday night’s from Friday, but on the other hand it may just be an anomaly.

Either way, at least it gives the UFC good momentum heading into this weekend’s ‘UFC On FOX 6’ event and it’ll be interesting to see if it continued into last night’s TUF 17 premiere on the channel.

UFC On FX 7 ratings: 1.85 million
UFC on FX 2 ratings: 1.4 million
UFC on FX 4 ratings: 1.3 million
UFC on FX 1 ratings: 1.3 million
UFC on FX 3 ratings: 1.1 million
UFC on FX 5 ratings: 1.1 million
UFC on FX 6 ratings: 972,000