The often replayed press conference brawl with Kevin Lee and Michael Chiesa led to Sunday's Fight Night show from Oklahoma City averaging 819,000 viewers.
The number was sixth among the seven prime time Fight Nights on FS 1 this year, although it was held on a less familiar Sunday night.
For a comparison, the last time FS 1 ran a Sunday night show at this time of the year, a May 29, 2016, show headlined by Cody Garbrandt vs. Thomas Almeida, that show did 757,000 viewers. Sunday's show was also up 12 percent, with 427,000 viewers to 381,000, viewers from the Garbrandt vs. Almeida show in the key 18-49 demo. FS 1, which got big results from NASCAR and NHRA racing earlier in the day, was the top-rated sports network for the total day on Sunday in both total viewers and in the 18-49 demo.
The show peaked at 905,000 viewers twice, once for the B.J. Penn vs. Dennis Siver fight that started the main card, and later for the Lee vs. Chiesa main event.
The prelims aired on FS 2 and did 319,000 viewers. It was the second-best number in FS 2 history when it came to Fight Night prelims, trailing the 320,000 for the April 22 show. That would also make it among the most-watched shows in the history of the station.
The post-fight show on FS 1 did 268,000 viewers, down from the 351,000 for the show after the most recent FS 1 prime time Fight Night show on June 10, headlined by Mark Hunt vs. Derrick Lewis, which did 923,000 viewers on a more familiar Saturday night.
The breakdown of the Bellator 180 broadcast prior to the pay-per-view the night before, headlined by Ryan Bader's light heavyweight title win over Phil Davis, was 758,000 viewers on Spike and 143,000 on CMT, with a total of 901,000 viewers. The number is well above the usual Bellator average for a show, but it was expected to be with two of the company's key free-agent signings from UFC headlining and it being the prelims before what was pushed as the biggest Bellator show in history.
The Ultimate Fighter reality show also pulled well this past week. The June 21 show did 456,000 viewers, the best number for the show in 14months. The current season, featuring fighters who had previously been in UFC, and coached by Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw, has seen the ratings increase steadily throughout the season. Traditionally, the season has its highest-rated episodes early.