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WSOF 30 draws 158,000 viewers on NBC Sports Network

Wins by former UFC welterweight contender Jon Fitch and WSOF middleweight champion David Branch led NBC Sports to draw 158,000 viewers for a Saturday night show that aired out of prime time.

Lucas Noonan, WSOF

Wins by David Branch and former UFC star Jon Fitch led World Series of Fighting 30 on Saturday night to draw 158,000 viewers on NBC Sports Network.

The show, held at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, did lower than the company's usual numbers, which hover around the 200,000 range. That was both understandable and expected due to the late night starting time. The show aired from 11:30 p.m. to 1:46 a.m., Eastern time, instead of the usual prime time start time.

An event three weeks earlier, starting at 10 p.m. Eastern time and headlined by Justin Gaethje vs. Brian Foster, did 208,000 viewers.

Branch retained his WSOF middleweight title beating former UFC fighter Clifford Starks via unanimous decision.

Fitch became the WSOF's welterweight champion, capturing the vacant title by beating Joao Zeferino via five-round decision. Fitch dominated the fight, winning all five rounds.

The title win was he first of the long career of Fitch, who had been a top-five welterweight for years. Now 38, Fitch has been in the sport for 14 years, and even with his high ranking, he had only had two title fights previously in his career, a 2008 loss to Georges St-Pierre for the UFC welterweight title, and a 2014 loss to Rousimar Palhares for the WSOF title.

The title was vacant because WSOF stripped Palhares after constant controversy surrounded his fights for both holding onto holds too long after opponents tapped, and for eye gouging in a fight with Jake Shields.

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