The eighth installment of live UFC fights on Fuel TV drew a record 485,000 viewers to the network, more than doubling the previous record-high of 217,000 viewers, set by the first live UFC card on Fuel last February. The pre-fight and post-fight shows also topped that mark of 217,000, with the pre-fight show drawing 250,000 viewers and the post-fight show drawing 219,000 viewers.
The funny thing about this card was that this show was largely a "fun" card, with no real title implications on the line. The co-main event of Mark Hunt vs Stefan Struve and main event of Wanderlei Silva vs Brian Stann delivered as spectacles, with both fights being highly entertaining and being finished in spectacular fashion. Silva is one of the biggest names of all-time in MMA, and this was the first time he's ever fought on free TV as opposed to a pay-per-view.
With Fuel's rebranding on the horizon, and a deal with Comcast finally inked, this could be just the tip of the icberg for the network. If one fight card, its pre-fight show, and post-fight show manage to become the three highest-rated programs in a network's history, that should tell the UFC that they did something right with this card. The next Fuel card is in April, and is main evented by Alexander Gustafsson vs Gegard Mousasi in what should be an entertaining fight, albeit one between fighters without the mainstream appeal of Silva and even the former Marine Stann.