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Conor McGregor paces first TUF episode to 27 percent ratings increase from last season

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Conor McGregor continued to show his drawing power as the first episode of the new season of The Ultimate Fighter was up 27 percent from the previous season's debut.

The two-hour special, of fights to get into the house and onto the European team coached by McGregor and the American team coached by Urijah Faber, did 622,000 viewers from 10 p.m. to midnight, and another 66,000 viewers from 1 to 3 a.m.

That's up from the 490,000 viewers for the first episode of season 21, which was the Blackzillians vs. American Top Team season. Season 20 last fall, which was the season that featured the tournament to crown the first women's strawweight champion, did 563,000 viewers for the first episode.

Wednesday night's show peaked at 745,000 viewers.

FS 1 was second among sports networks last night with Ultimate Fighter, trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Los Angeles Angels baseball game on ESPN which did 788,000 viewers, and beat Sports Center on ESPN 2 which averaged 482,000 viewers during the head-to-head two hours.

UFC Tonight on FS 1 on Wednesday did 132,000 viewers.