One of the reasons why you are in town is to promote Wednesday's TUF fight between Kimbo Slice and Roy Nelson. Are you surprised by how much buzz this fight -- as well as the whole season -- has generated thus far?
We knew it was going to be big, we just didn't know how big it was going to be. We did 5.1 million viewers the first week, 4.1 last week, and this Wednesday we think that we're going to do more than both of those.
I heard you predicted 7 million viewers for this Wednesday's show.
No, I'm predicting 6 million.
So, 7 million might be a little aggressive?
Dude, if we do 7 million ... I'm not going to say anything. I already put my foot in my mouth at UFC 100.
Dana White talking to Ariel Helwani.
Dave Meltzer has some context for the numbers and Kimbo's status as a star attraction:
Largely due to Slice’s presence, the first two episodes of the season were the two highest rated episodes in the history of the show. While it’s not a lock episode three will be a record-setter just because the first week’s 4.1 million viewers for the first-run episode blew away even the most optimistic of predictions, it should at worst be in the same ballpark. The hype pushing Slice vs. Nelson as the most anticipated fight in the history of the show is not overblown.
In Slice’s four pro fights, three broke records. He set the all-time Showtime MMA ratings record (since broken by the Gina Carano vs. Cris Santos fight) for a fight with Tank Abbott. His two matches on CBS, against James Thompson and Seth Petruzelli, are two of the three most-watched television matches in U.S. MMA history.