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Ratings report: Mendes vs. Lamas does 389,000 viewers live, but strong replay numbers

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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The first of what will be three early start time UFC events over the next two months, Saturday's Fight Night, headlined by Chad Mendes' first round win over Ricardo Lamas, did 1,331,000 viewers on multiple airings between Saturday and Monday.

The live broadcast of the main card, from the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va., airing from 1 to 4 p.m., did 389,000 viewers.  A prime time replay from 8 to 11 p.m. Eastern time did 350,000 viewers,. which was the second-most viewers of any Fight Night replay show since FS 1 was launched.  A replay on Sunday that started at 3 a.m. did 84,000 viewers. The Sunday afternoon replay that started at 4 p.m. did 294,000 viewers. And another replay, at 8 p.m. on Monday night, going against the NCAA basketball finals, did 214,000 viewers.

It's hard to say what is good or bad about those numbers since the live airing was in an unfamiliar time slot, and it was notable that nearly as many viewers watched it on a seven-hour delay as live. It was less viewers live than usual, but the replay numbers were well above normal  levels.

It was the lowest live show main card number for UFC on FS 1, but given the time slot, that was to be expected

The prelims, which aired from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, averaged 304,000 viewers.

The only comparison point would be the Fuel (now Fox Sports 2) shows that aired in the morning and afternoon in 2012, which did 111,000 and 88,000 viewers on a station with far less national clearance.

For the live show, the peak audience was for the Clay Guida vs. Robbie Peralta fight, which did 489,000 viewers. However, the actual high point for viewership on Saturday was for a replay of the main event, which did 493,000 viewers, at 10:45 p.m..

UFC will have two more events in May on FS 1 that will be airing outside of the usual prime time.

Start times are not available yet, but the May 16 show from The Philippines, headlined by Frankie Edgar vs. Urijah Faber, is scheduled to start much earlier. The May 30 show in Goiania Brazil, headlined by Carlos Condit vs. Thiago Alves, is expected to be in a similar time frame as this past Saturday's show.

The prior weekend, a March 27 Bellator show headlined by Joe Warren's bantamweight title loss to Marcos Galvao did 607,000 viewers. That's slightly below Bellator's year-to-date average of 653,000 viewers. The show also featured a match-of-the-year contender with former Dream star Hideo Tokoro vs. LC Davis.

The last World Series of Fighting show, on March 28, also headlined by a potential match of the year where Justin Gaethje retained his lightweight title over Luis Palomino, did 216,000 viewers on NBC Sports Network. That's right at the usual WSOF levels for a Saturday night show.