UFC on FOX 5 Nets 4.4 Million Viewers, Big Improvement Over Last Two Events

McKinley NobleCorrespondent IDecember 11, 2012

Pictured: UFC Lightweight Champion Ben Henderson
Pictured: UFC Lightweight Champion Ben HendersonRon Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Ratings are always a tricky business, but it seems like the UFC might have finally figured out a few key methods for their Fox events.

MMA Junkie reports that UFC on FOX 5 drew an average of 4.4 million viewers during its broadcast, which is a notable jump from the two previous UFC on FOX cards that aired this year.

Overall, it's the third-most successful out of the five so far, with the current record-holder still being the UFC's inaugural FOX event that featured a single title fight between then-heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos.

With that in mind, here's a look at the average viewership for all five events so far:

• UFC on FOX 1 (Velasquez vs. dos Santos): 5.7 million
• UFC on FOX 2 (Evans vs. Davis): 4.7 million
• UFC on FOX 3 (Diaz vs. Miller): 2.4 million
• UFC on FOX 4 (Rua vs. Vera): 2.4 million
• UFC on FOX 5 (Henderson vs. Diaz): 4.4 million

Notably, this past Saturday's card was the first one to host a title fight since UFC on FOX 1, which likely helped boost its relevancy to television viewers. Overall, the UFC placed third in primetime ratings for the 18-34 male demographic, behind "The Simpsons" and Sunday night's NFL game.

It also didn't hurt that combat sports was the general theme of that weekend, with the UFC card preceding HBO's highly-anticipated boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez.

It's not the first time that the UFC has played the lead-in to a Pacquiao bout, as UFC on FOX 1 did the same thing before Pacquiao and Marquez's third fight on November 11th last year.

UFC Lightweight Champion Ben Henderson successfully defended his title against Nate Diaz en route to a one-sided unanimous decision victory on Saturday, marking his second successful title defense.

Other main card action saw Swedish contenter Alexander Gustafsson defeat former light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua, while surging Canadian fighter Rory MacDonald effectively retired former two-division UFC champion BJ Penn.