(Junior Dos Santos shows off how he messed up his knees in this picture from MMA Fighting’s Esther Lin)

Preliminary ratings are in from Saturday night and they’re … eeeh. Okay, I guess?

According to the people at TV by the Numbers, the hour long show did a 2.4 rating with a 7 share at the 18-49 range. Total viewers for the initial estimates are 4.65 million.

Here’s some more context from MMA Convert for those numbers:

For it’s timeslot, it placed second in the demo, one tenth behind the Stanford vs. Oregon football game and third in overall viewers. Both the game (7.11m) and a repeat of NCIS (5.5m) garnered more viewers. The episode of COPS that immediately preceded the UFC broadcast on FOX also drew more viewers (4.81).

While I wouldn’t say the broadcast was a failure, I’d say the one hour single fight format for MMA events isn’t very condusive to getting the kind of numbers the UFC is gonna want on FOX. Worst of all, these numbers didn’t come close to beating out EliteXC’s Kimbo Slice / James Thompson 2008 fight on CBS. That fight managed to pull in two million more people. Oh snap!

The big problem is how to guage ratings considering there was all of a minute’s worth of actual action. Sports fans tend to channelsurf when the action isn’t going – between periods, halves, intermissions, and all that jazz. When the actual product delivered ended up being measured in seconds, how does that affect the ratings? Estimating ratings seems more voodoo than science to me, so who knows how accurate they are?

Dana White sounded slightly defensive at the post-event press conference regarding that fateful decision to run the one fight and one fight only:

“For anybody to bitch about this fight, and they didn’t get to see this fight…shut up,” White said following UFC on FOX, which took place at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

“You should have bought tickets, then, if you want to see all the fights and you don’t want to watch it on Facebook,” he said. “Seriously, shut up. I don’t even want to hear it.”

Hey bro, most people are saying this because it would have been better for YOU, not us hardcore fans. We watched that shit online. We got the full experience. But the whole point of the UFC on FOX is to expose the sport to new people. 65 seconds of exposure is obviously less awesome than 16 minutes.

I’m really hoping the takeaway from this event is ‘No more 1-fight broadcasts.’ But I’ve read articles that say future FOX broadcasts are going to feature 2 or 3 fights over 90 minutes. WTF? Hey, I’m not against change, but dumb change? As we learned last night, less is definitely not more.

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MiddleEasy captures video footage of the guy who made it into the cage during Saturday’s event. That’s the second event in a row that this has happened. In the future, all fans will now be forced to manacle themselves to their chairs upon arrival. Piss buckets will be available for $15 a pop.

 

 

Well, the thing MMA fans worried about kinda sorta happened tonight: rather than a rousing battle of heavyweight proportions, we instead barely got a fight as Junior Dos Santos clipped Cain Velasquez and put him down in just under a minute into their heavyweight title fight. It wasn’t a bad fight by any means. But there wasn’t a lot of meat to it. Junior caught Cain in an early exchange, it wasn’t a ‘Holy Shit’ knockdown, and the way the stoppage went it almost looked like perhaps Cain could have continued (at least for a few seconds until Junior landed another blow).

If only FOX had gone along with the original idea of having Ben Henderson vs Clay Guida open up the broadcast. Those two put on a 15 minute fightfest of epic proportions featuring back and forth fisticuffs, crazy scrambles, close submission attempts, and everything else that defines a great MMA fight. Alas, only those tuning into facebook got to see it, and those watching FOX got 64 seconds worth of fighting.

Joe Rogan talks about Cain Velasquez having to have a cortisol injection into his knee before the fight in order to compete.

Bonuses were 65k a pop and went to…

Knockout of the night: Junior Dos Santos

Fight of the night: Benson Henderson vs Clay Guida

Submission of the night: Ricardo Lamas

Those of you who watched the prelims know that Benson Henderson will be next for Frankie Edgar, but what you probably didn’t know was that they’ll be facing off on the February card in Japan.

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Junior Dos Santos explains his knee issues:

“I got a very serious injury in my knee, my meniscus. You know, 10 days ago I couldn’t walk very well. I stayed two days with [crutches], but I asked my doctor to help me because it’s the fight of my life and I can’t miss that fight.”

So basically another major fight that would have been scuttled. I guess the trick is to hype a fight up so huge neither fighter will dare pull out.