The UFC had their first live Fight Night on Fuel TV this past Wednesday. The ratings for the event were great -- for Fuel TV. The Jake Ellenberger vs. Diego Sanchez headliner drew 315,000 viewers and the whole show averaged 217,000 viewers. Both those stats are records for Fuel TV whose previous biggest shows were live UFC preliminary bout coverage for UFC on FX 1 on Jan. 20 and UFC on Fox 2 on Jan. 28, averaging 148,000 and 144,000 total viewers, peaking at 237,000 and 212,000.
But the reality is that many UFC fans either don't get Fuel TV or don't know the UFC has left Spike TV. Spike aggressively counter-programmed UFC on Fuel TV with a marathon of old UFC fights featuring Diego Sanchez. According to the OC Register they did very well, averaging 678,000 viewers.
Spike TV has the rights to their UFC library through the end of 2012. They are expected to begin broadcasting Bellator Fighting Championships in 2013. Bellator is currently on MTV 2.