UFC Middleweight contender Chris Weidman destroyed Mark Munoz in a possible #1 contender's match at UFC on FUEL TV 4: Munoz vs. Weidman. Going into the fight Weidman was ranked #9 in the world in the SBN MMA Consensus Rankings. Munoz was ranked #3.
Unfortunately, like the tree falling in the forest that nobody heard, it's like the fight never happened because the fight aired on Fuel TV and almost no one saw it. We don't have the ratings for last night's show yet but the UFC on Fuel TV shows so far have drawn from 86,000 to 217,000 viewers (ratings for every UFC on Fuel show after the jump).
This is a colossal waste and hurts the UFC badly.
Had Weidman vs. Munoz been on the pay-per-view card of UFC 148, an immediate Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman title fight would be a no-brainer for the organization because Weidman would be a known, and feared, entity to every fan who watched UFC 148.
We don't have the numbers for UFC 148's buy rate yet, but expectations are ranging anywhere from 500,000 at a minimum to 1.5 million on the wild-eyed drinking Dana's kool-aid side. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand the difference between showcasing Weidman on a million buy PPV and featuring him on a Fuel TV fight seen by 200K at most.
Booking Weidman vs. Munoz on Fuel TV also hurt the UFC in a second way, we'll talk about that after the jump...
Not only did booking Weidman vs Munoz on Fuel TV make it much much harder to sell Weidman as a potential title challenger, but not having Weidman vs Munoz on UFC 148 hurt that card as well. Among the fans I've talked to the consensus was that the overall UFC 148 card sucked except for the title fight and maybe Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin.
But just imagine if fans had gotten to see Weidman destroy Munoz (and maybe also got to see Francis Carmont's tasty submission win over Karlos Vemola) the card would have been dramatically transformed from a one-fight wonder into a much better card.
The all-time UFC-FUEL TV ratings (via MMA Junkie) include:
- UFC on FUEL TV 1 ratings (main card): 217,000 viewers
- UFC on FUEL TV 2 ratings (main card): 197,000
- UFC on FUEL TV 3 ratings (main card): 173,000
- UFC on FX 1 ratings (prelims): 148,000
- UFC on FOX 2 ratings (prelims): 144,000
- UFC on FX 2 ratings (prelims): 113,000
- UFC on FOX 3 ratings (prelims): 86,000