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UFC on FOX 6 scores strong preliminary rating with 3.77 million viewers

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The UFC's sixth installment on FOX scored strong preliminary television ratings, pulling a 1.8 rating with adults 18-49. That figure is up 13 percent from UFC on FOX 5 on Dec. 9 and third best overall in the franchise, according to TV By The Numbers.

The strong numbers also won FOX the night overall all among television channels with viewers.

UFC on FOX 6 took place at the United Center in Chicago, Ill. and was headlined by a flyweight title fight between champion Demetrious Johnson and challenger John Dodson. Johnson earned a unanimous decision victory to retain his title.

The numbers could be considered a surprise as a flyweight title fight had never headlined a UFC event prior to Saturday night and it was unclear what level of fan support existed for the UFC's newest male division.

These figures ultimately are only preliminary measurements, however. The aforementioned measurement only covers 8 to 10 p.m. ET. The main event and its five-round length is likely to add to the final total.

UFC on FOX 6's ratings are better than the overnights for UFC on FOX 5 as well as the two previous installments. UFC on FOX 4 pulled 2.36 million average viewers in overnights for the main event between Brandon Vera and Mauricio Rua. UFC on FOX 3, headlined by a lightweight bout between Nate Diaz and Jim Miller, gathered only 2.25 million average viewers in overnight ratings.

Saturday's event did not match the ratings for the first two UFC events on FOX, which to date remain the highest rated UFC on FOX events. UFC on FOX 1 gathered 4.6 million viewers while UFC on FOX 2 pulled in 4.37 million.