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ufc fight night 59

On the heels of quite a bit of promotional work throughout the many FOX networks, the recent UFC Fight Night 59 card paid off, delivering the most viewership since 2009.

Conor McGregor’s recent win over Dennis Siver, coupled with a co-main event between lightweights Donald Cerrone and Benson Henderson, was watched by more than 2.7 million people. The event went up against the AFC and NFC championship games on FOX Sports 1.

In the final quarter-hour, which featured McGregor-Siver, 3,162,000 viewers tuned in, helping the show rank first on cable and second in non-NFL program on television in the key demos.

Check out the complete press release below:

Sunday was an historic night for the UFC on FOX Sports 1.

UFC Fight Night on FOX Sports 1: McGregor vs. Siver on Sunday, Jan. 18 scored 2,751,000 viewers according to Nielsen, making it the most-watched MMA event ever on FOX Sports 1 and the most-watched MMA event on ad-supported cable television since the UFC’s TUF Finale on Spike (12/5/09). Viewership for Sunday’s FOX Sports 1 main event peaked in the final quarter-hour, from 12:00-12:15 AM ET, with 3,162,000 viewers.

Additional highlights follow:

– On the day, UFC Fight Night was the No. 1 show on ad-supported cable and the No. 2 show on all of television, outside of NFL programming, among M18-34, M18-49 and M25-54.

– FOX Sports 1 was the No. 1 network in ad-supported cable during the fight (10:00 PM-12:15 AM ET).

– Sunday was FOX Sports 1’s third most-watched Sunday (6:00 AM-3:00 AM), averaging 522,000 viewers despite vicious competition form the NFC and AFC Championship Game broadcasts.

– Preceding the fight, the UFC preliminary card averaged 908,000 viewers, making it the second most-watched non-PPV prelims in FOX Sports 1 history behind the Rousey-Tate TUF Finale prelims in November 2013. Impressive, given direct competition with the AFC Championship Game broadcast on CBS. It peaked during the final quarter-hour (9:45 PM ET -10:00 PM ET) with 1,486,000 viewers.

– Post-fight, FOX Sports Live averaged 1,167,000 viewers from 12:15 AM ET-1:00 AM ET, making it the most-watched Sunday edition of the program all time.

– Sunday’s UFC Fight Night drove FOX Sports GO to its largest authenticated UFC audience ever, outperforming the previous high (10/4/14) by 59% in total unique visitors.

Conor McGregor

Fresh off his second round TKO victory over Dennis Siver, Conor McGregor has climbed to fourth in the UFC’s featherweight division. The official rankings were recently updated.

McGregor, who is expected to meet champion Jose Aldo later this year, moved ahead of Cub Swanson. Dennis Bermudez, Jeremy Stephens and Clay Guida all climbed a spot, while Dustin Poirier and Siver fell.

In the overall Top-15, T.J. Dillashaw is now seventh, climbing ahead of Ronda Rousey and Anderson Silva.

Other movements include Jussier Formiga placing tied for fourth at flyweight with John Moraga, Wilson Reis and Brad Pickett flipping for 13th at 125 pounds, Mark Munoz and Tim Boetsch doing the same at middleweight, Joanne Calderwood climbing to fifth at strawweight ahead of Tecia Torres and Paige VanZant sliding back in at 10th ahead of Heather Clark.

ufc on fox 14

Alexander Gustafsson is one of the bigger light heavyweights in the world. So is his opponent, Anthony Johnson.

The two meet this coming Saturday night from Stockholm in the main event of UFC on FOX 14, with the winner securing a future title fight vs. Jon Jones.

During a recent appearance on “UFC Tonight,” Gustafsson discussed what the difference will be vs. “Rumble.”

“He can’t connect the punches,” he said. “He won’t either. I’m too fast for him.”

Johnson’s first opponent back after returning to the UFC was Phil Davis, a friend and training partner of “The Mauler.” Davis handed Gustafsson his first career defeat.

“We’ve been talking and training, and he gave me some advice,” Gustafsson said. “But it’s no secret. (Johnson’s) strong and heavy-handed. I’m ready.”

The only other pro defeat for the Swede came via decision to Jones for the title in 2013. He is now one step closer to a rematch with “Bones,” something he’s been chasing since that night.

“That’s the fight I want,” he said. “That’s the big fight I’m dreaming about. I’m going to beat him, I’m going to take that belt from him.

“But right now, I don’t have time or room for Jon Jones. I’m fighting Anthony Johnson; I need to be the best for him.”

UFC

Jon Anik, Brian Stann and Dominick Cruz offered up their thoughts during a special look ahead to the upcoming year in the UFC.

UFC president Dana White joined the crew for an exclusive interview, all of which you can see in the video below:

ufc 185

For Rafael dos Anjos, the decision to leave his native home and come to train in the U.S. has paid off.

Dos Anjos will challenge UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis for the title at UFC 185 in March from Dallas. Following three straight wins, and thanks to Khabib Nurmagomedov being injured, dos Anjos jumped to the front of the line.

“I think in 2012, I moved here and everything started changing,” he said, during a recent appearance on UFC Tonight. “I focused on my training. There was not so much distraction as in Brazil. I have better training partners.

“When I moved here, I said if I want to be champion, I’ve got to train with the best.”

Following five straight wins, including a victory over Donald Cerrone in 2013, UFC officials matched dos Anjos (23-7) up with Nurmagomedov. The unbeaten Nurmagomedov earned a decision, and the Brazilian was forced to re-think his strategy.

The loss sent him into a bout with Jason High, which he won via second round TKO. Just over two months later, dos Anjos stopped former champion Benson Henderson in the first round, adding a decision win vs. one-time contender Nate Diaz this past December to a 3-1 run in 2014.

“After the fight against Khabib, I stopped thinking about the belt,” he said. “I was so worried about it before the fight. Now, I’ve just been training, doing my job. I wasn’t thinking about it.

“Then I got it and I was so happy.”

Pettis, who returned from an extended layoff to finish Gilbert Melendez last year in his first title defense, has vowed to stop dos Anjos early.

“I think everybody talks, but then once it’s just me and him in the cage, I have 30 fights and more experience than he does and it’s going to make the different,” he said. “If he thinks he’s going to knock me out, let’s see. I’m going to answer this question on March 14.”

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