VanZant vs. Waterson draws impressive ratings, White comments

Invicta women's champ Michelle "Karate Hottie" Waterson
Michelle “Karate Hottie” Waterson

Fox’s Saturday UFC broadcast of UFC on Fox: VanZant vs. Waterson that emanated from Sacramento averaged a solid 3.2 million viewers for the entire show. That’s 3.2 for the whole show which is pretty darn good. The FOX broadcast peaked at an impressive 4.8 million viewers. The peak numbers occurred during Michelle Waterson and Paige VanZant’s clash that saw Waterson unexpectedly submitting Paige for the win.

UFC shows on Fox have been drawing fewer numbers than that unless they were headlined by a marquee bout. Back in April 2013, when Benson Henderson defeated Gilbert Melendez, the numbers were solid for that show, but other than that they have been average. VanZant was on Dancing With the Stars and Mickey Gall defeated Sage Northcutt on the card. Seeing Gall, the man who crushed CM Punk’s UFC dreams, in a second fight might have played in to the numbers. It also didn’t hurt that the card featured Urijah Faber’s retirement bout.

Dana White commented:

There’s something about them and they have that star quality where people are interested in seeing them Sage is ripped and is an unbelievable physical specimen. Mickey was on the show and then he fought CM Punk and Paige had that exposure on ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ If you get out there and promote yourself, this shows you that you have a chance.

Next up, the big one. UFC 207 takes place on December 30 and features a returning Ronda Rousey vs. current women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes.


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  • Juchi

    Waterson headlines the card, draws peak numbers and is paid a total of $30K for her victory? That’s outrageous and I hope the UFC addresses it immediately.

  • drewcifer7840

    Don’t you think this performance will impact her earning on her next fight? You got to start somewhere, she’s lucky to have been given the chance. Stop thinking like a Communist.

  • Juchi

    Hardly think I’m thinking like a Commie. She’s been a pro twice as long as Rousey, was the atom weight champion over in Invicta (which admittedly pays dirt to its champions as well) and has pulled off a number of fight of the night and performance of the night awards, including a rare submission by flying armbar. I would expect more from the UFC for its headliners, especially those with the marketing attributes of Waterson. I certainly hope this performance will impact her earning on her next fight. If it doesn’t, she should start looking for a new manager.