Chan Sung Jung came through with a great knockout finish in his UFC return this past weekend, and he also proved himself in the marketability department.
Saturday's UFC Fight Night, headlined by Jung's win over Dennis Bermudez, averaged 1,158,000 viewers, the best number for a Fight Night broadcast in one year. It was the ninth-highest in FS 1 history.
The number was drawn even with the disadvantage from a ratings perspective of a main event ending in the first round.
In addition, the prelims, headlined by Curtis Blaydes vs. Adam Milstead, did 834,000 viewers, were also the ninth-most in the history of the station. The prelims were going against college basketball on ESPN (Kentucky vs. Florida) that did 1,896,000 viewers and an NBA game on ABC that did 2,818,000 viewers.
It was the highest-rated Fight Night since the Feb. 6, 2016, show, ironically also on the eve of the Super Bowl. That was a far more loaded show, given it was originally a pay-per-view card. It was moved to FS 1 when the Cain Velasquez vs. Fabricio Werdum heavyweight title fight fell through. It was headlined by Johny Hendricks, when Hendricks was still a major name, coming off his title series with Robbie Lawler, facing Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson, and featured Roy Nelson, Ovince Saint Preux and Joseph Benavidez.
Saturday's show had no established draws, although Alexa Grasso had done well in her first television fight and Felice Herrig came from Ultimate Fighter and had a high profile loss to Paige VanZant, Saint Preux was on this show, and Jessica Andrade was a legitimate top strawweight title contender.
The show peaked at 1,286,000 for the Saint Preux upset loss to Volkan Oezmemir.
The pre-fight show did 237,000 viewers and post-fight show did 355,000 viewers.
There were prelims before the major pay-per-view shows of 2016 on FS 1 that significantly beat this number. But it has to be considered unexpectedly strong for a Fight Night show.