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Ultimate Fighter 18 finale brings solid ratings

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The Ultimate Fighter 18 finale posted strong ratings but fails to meet success of season 17.

After what was a rocky season for the Ultimate Fighter; a season that saw the show bring its smallest ever viewing audience for a single episode. The UFC got a much needed boost in the season finale headlined by Nate Diaz and Gray Maynard, which brought unexpectedly strong ratings. Carleton Curtis, Director of Digital Productions at Fox Sports, released the numbers to Twitter on Wednesday.

While it's a strong improvement over UFC Fight Night 32's 722,000 viewers, it's still well below the 1.71 million that they pulled in on FX for last April's Ultimate Fighter 17 finale. It's a bit of an apples to oranges comparison since the network reach and notoriety for the two channels is vastly different. Taken on it's own it's a good outing for the UFC on a fledgling channel where they are expected to bring a strong ratings presence. It's essentially even with Bellator's 106 not-at-all-a-PPV card.

So, what do you think? Did the UFC vastly exceed expectations for what was a pretty dud card overall, or is this a merely modest return for the months of investment leading up to it?