Yesterday, I implored the masses to start watching The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18, as its first episode did piss-poor ratings. It seems that indeed, a few more people listened, as the show’s viewership increased 14% to 870,000 for episode 2. This is somewhat reassuring but still nowhere near the ratings that propelled the show to being considered a hit. However, there are actually several positive signs: it was the highest-rated show on the network since its launch date, and the general upward trajectory hasn’t occurred regularly since the early days of the show.

I myself fell asleep during the first episode of TUF 18, having spent hours watching the prelims and main card of the Fight Night event that came before. When the programming reverted to prerecorded content, no matter how appealing, my meth supply also ran out, so I simply couldn’t hold out any longer. Maybe the lack of meth also explains why certain other people also failed to watch the TUF episode, but really, many fans didn’t even watch the Fight Night card to begin with.

Okay, so maybe it is actually possible that people learned how to tune to Fox Sports 1 for the Shogun vs. Sonnen card on the channel’s launch date, forgot the next Wednesday for the weak UFC Fight Night card followed by the TUF series debut, and partially remembered again. There were also about a quarter million additional DVR viewers for the first episode, but the fact that those numbers are even being released (as opposed to not having been released before) says something about how far the series has fallen since the “glory days” of Kimbo and semen-coated sushi.