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UFC on FOX 17 draws virtually identical numbers to previous shows in December

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

A Rafael dos Anjos vs. Donald Cerrone lightweight title match main event on Saturday night led to UFC's final show of the year doing virtually identical numbers as the past two Decembers.

The show did a final rating of 2,781,000 viewers. The number was exactly what the FOX show had been doing the past two years in December, with 2.8 million viewers for a 2014 show headlined by Junior Dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic,, and a 2013 show headlined by Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez for the flyweight title.

With a main event that lasted only 66 seconds, that hampered the overall rating. The event was also hurt by an NFL game with the New York Jets vs. Dallas Cowboys that did 7,410,000 viewers on the NFL Network, It was likely also impacted by the "Star Wars" opening weekend. Aside from the NFL game, the UFC show was the most watched sports event of the night. The HBO Boxing audience on Saturday night ranged from 373,000 viewers early to 616,000 viewers at its peak.

The previous two UFC on FOX shows also did in the same range, with the July show headlined by T.J. Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao doing 2,756,000 viewers and the April show headlined by Luke Rockhold vs Lyoto Machida doing 2,745,000 viewers.

The three-hour prelims from 5-8 p.m. on FS 1, headlined by Myles Jury vs. Charles Oliveira did 693,000 viewers, slightly up from the 654,000 and 613,000 of the previous two December shows.

UFC averaged 2,835,000 viewers for its four FOX specials in 2015.

The Friday night World Series of Fighting event on NBC Sports, headlined by Marcio Alexandre winning the featherweight title from Lance Palmer, did 112,000 viewers, far less than the usual 200,000 viewer range.