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5.2 Million Viewers for Kimbo Slice vs. Houston Alexander

The ratings are in from Saturday night's Ultimate Fighter Finale, and Spike TV is touting them as a major success, with 5.2 million viewers for the night's biggest draw, Kimbo Slice vs. Houston Alexander.

That's a great number, the most viewers that any live UFC fight has had all year. On the other hand, it's almost a million fewer than the 6.1 million who watched Kimbo fight Roy Nelson in the third episode of this season's Ultimate Fighter. So I'd stop short of calling the Ultimate Fighter Finale a huge ratings success.

The three-hour Ultimate Fighter Finale, which included five live fights, had an average of 3.7 million viewers and was the third most-watched UFC fight card in Spike TV history.

The question now for the UFC is how to use Kimbo next: If he can attract 5.2 million viewers for a fight that was only announced three days earlier, he's obviously still got drawing power. But will the UFC now try to turn him into a draw on pay-per-view? And can they find a credible opponent who won't absolutely smash Kimbo? The question of how to handle Kimbo will be one of the toughest questions for the UFC to answer in 2010.