UFC Fight Night 26 on the debuting Fox Sports 1 is in the books, and it appears that the broadcast was a rousing success. Despite a last-minute rush to get Fox Sports 1 into the homes of cable television subscriber, viewers were able to find the event effectively enough to the tune of 1.78 million viewers for the Chael Sonnen vs. Shogun Rua-headed main card.
While there was some worry that Fox Sports 1 would not sign a deal with huge cable providers like DirecTV and Dish Network, the ink had barely dried when the combatants stepped into the Octagon Saturday night. And it was a great event, delivering a bit of everything for UFC fans everywhere. The stacked card lead to UFC Fight Night 26 actually beating out the four major networks in its key demographic, males aged 18-49, during the Fight Night broadcast, an impressive feat considering that the network was only making its debut that night.
Most experts would probably gauge the strength of the ratings on the sheer amount of promotion that was put on for the card, which was quite substantial. That, and the fact that the UFC went all-out and put together an incredibly stacked lineup, all came together to mark a very successful debut on the new cable network.
The bouts featured Sonnen tapping out Rua in the first round with a guillotine, Travis Browne making an incredible comeback to destroy Alistair Overeem, and many other great bouts and storylines. Check out the full results and action here.