This past Saturday night (June 21, 2014), the WSOF drew its biggest television audience to date with its presentation of WSOF 10: Branch vs. Taylor.
The card presented three title fights at its top – middle, feather, and women’s bantamweight – and aired on the NBC Sports Network to an audience of 365,000 viewers. The numbers, as reported by MMAFighting, marks WSOF 10 as the promotion’s most successful event and places it a full 100 thousand viewers above last summer’s WSOF 4 card, which comes in at second with an audience of 264,000.
With the Las Vegas show competing against soccer’s World Cup and Glory 17, and being devoid of any of any of the WSOF’s marquee names – fighters such as Jon Fitch, Jake Shields, and Yushin Okami for example – the promotion and NBC Sports must be well pleased with their draw. The only hole in the number might be that the event took place on an off night for the sport’s senior tour – the UFC. As such, the WSOF benefited from having the MMA stage to itself.
Next up for the brand is WSOF 11. The event will be headlined by a lightweight title fight between champion Justin Gaethje and challenger Nick Newell. The card will also feature former UFC notables Jon Fitch and Dennis Hallman, as the pair square off in a welterweight match. Additionally, the event will mark the debut of UFC castoff Melvin Guilard as he takes on fellow 155 pounder Gesias Cavalcante.
With three marquee names on its card and the event topped by the physically disadvantaged Nick Newell – his left arm is missing below the elbow – fighting for the promotion’s 155 pound title, it will be interesting to see if WSOF 11 can rebound with similar or better numbers than did WSOF 10.
This time through the promotion will have the advantage of being on NBC’s main network – not NBC Sports – and will have the added benefit of acting as a lead-in to UFC 175: Weidman vs. Machida, which transpires in Las Vegas on the same date – July 5, 2014.
WSOF 11 will take place in Daytona, Florida, and will stand as the promotion’s debut event on NBC. As the show’s date places it in direct competition with UFC 175, the decision has been made to broadcast the card earlier than it would normally be aired. As such, WSOF 11 will kick off at 4 p.m. ET on NBC and will conclude at 6 p.m. ET, a full two hours ahead of the UFC 175’s preliminary bouts, which begin at 8 p.m. ET.
Photo courtesy of the WSOF