UFC on FOX 2 didn't do as well as its predecessor when it came to overall viewership several weeks ago. While UFC on FOX 1 did 5.3 million viewers, the second MMA offering only netted 4.7 million viewers.
The first show piqued at 8.8 million viewers while this one fell short. It didn't help that the fights were less than thrilling and involved a lot of technical wrestling.
It sounds a little disheartening when put that way and like it is bad for the sport, but in truth it actually is only half the story. While the numbers for the viewership are down, key demographics are up.
This was always going to be something the UFC faced when it got on network TV. The first show of any new type of program attracts a large audience just because of its novelty. After that wears off, a lot of the new audience will wander away to other things while some stay.
But the UFC did find its niche on TV. Many of the viewers who tuned in were of the coveted 18-49 adult demographic.
Remember, at the end of the day the networks don't really care about the fans or even the critics. They care about numbers, and if the UFC can deliver on those key demographics, then MMA still has a chance on FOX.
Of course, the network has a seven-year deal with the UFC so it isn't like the sport was about to be dropped from their schedule anytime soon, but it is still comforting to know that MMA is still growing and healthy.
The only question that remains now is how UFC on FOX 3 will do considering the lack of action that fans saw on the second card. Every program is only as good as its last showing and while the second one on FOX was decent, it isn't going to win the sport many new fans.
How the UFC and FOX bounce back from this bump in the road will tell fans how fast the sport will grow in the next few years and at what point casual fans will expect quality fights that may not turn into barn-burners.
It may not have been for a heavyweight championship, but the second show turned in decent numbers and, as long as the UFC learns from this experience and gives fans decent fights, everything should be even better next time.
Matthew Hemphill writes for the MMA and professional wrestling portion of Bleacher Report. He also hosts a blog elbaexiled.blogspot.com that focuses on books, music, comic books, video games, film and generally anything that could be related to the realms of nerdom.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!