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Ferguson vs. dos Anjos event does 860,000 viewers

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Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports

Going against a plethora of college football games, as well as a Manny Pacquiao boxing pay-per-view event, Saturday night's UFC Fight Night from Mexico City averaged 860,000 viewers.

The show was headlined by a competitive battle of top-ranked lightweights where Tony Ferguson won a decision over former champion Rafael dos Anjos in a fight that was even going into the final round.

While the Fight Night was below the UFC's prime time average from February to the present of 932,000 for shows in a similar time slot on FS 1 since the start of February, shows are not going to do nearly as well with college football on two networks as well as on several cable stations. The early part of the show went against Alabama vs. Louisiana State, which, based on the overnight ratings, tied for the second-highest rated college football game this year.

In comparison to a similar show in November 2015, which was headlined by bigger names, Vitor Belfort vs. Dan Henderson, this year's show was up 14 percent in total viewers and 25 percent in the 18-49 demo.

Overall, UFC is up ten percent from last year in total viewers for the main cards, and up 21 percent for prelims, which shows that the fan base is in general watching more hours of programming. This goes against the trend of a lot of television, including sports, that have shown significant declines this year.

The prelims, headlined by Erik Perez's decision win over Felipe Arantes, did 668,000 viewers.

A notable sign on the main card is that it was the UFC debut of Alexa Grasso, in taking the decision over Heather Jo Clark, which was the most-watched fight of the night with 997,000 viewers. It's is very rare that a UFC fight night main card will peak with the first match, which speaks of the potential television marketability of Grasso.

The Ferguson vs. dos Anjos fight was likely hurt by starting at about 1 a.m., and then going five rounds.

The pre-fight show did 245,000 viewers and the post-fight show did 323,000 viewers.

The news wasn't as good for Bellator on Friday, as its show from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn., drew 507,000 viewers, its second-lowest number of 2016.

The show saw Phil Davis, who was considered one of its biggest signings of this year, win the Bellator light heavyweight title with a five-round decision over Liam McGeary after airing a show otherwise filled with fast first round finsihes.

The show went against a strong NBA doubleheader, with the Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors, which did 1,981,000 and 2,494,000 viewers respectively.