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October 25, 2014

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TUF’ finale outdraws U.S. Open, MLB

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Justin M. Bowen

Diego Sanchez (left) and Clay Guida face off during The Ultimate Fighter weigh-in at The Palms Friday. The TUF 9 finale will be held Saturday inside the Pearl at The Palms, with Sanchez and Guida as the main event.

The Ultimate Fighter Finale

Diego Sanchez, right, lands a big shot to Clay Guida during their main event bout at The Ultimate Fighter on Saturday, June 20, 2009. Sanchez won by split decision. Launch slideshow »

So the UFC isn’t mainstream just yet, but Saturday night’s television ratings for “The Ultimate Fighter” finale at the Palms were just another sign that mixed martial arts is gaining ground fast.

Spike announced today that season-ending event for TUF No. 9 Team U.S. vs. Team U.K. drew 663,000 viewers in the male 18-34 demographic, outdrawing both the U.S. Open golf on NBC (384,000) and Major League Baseball on FOX (184,000) which aired earlier in the day.

The live fight card, which included a Fight-of-the-Year level main event between Clay Guida and Diego Sanchez, peaked at 2.8 million viewers — making it the most watched program in all of television for men 18-34 and men 18-49.

The popular reality fighting series also drew its highest ratings for a finale since season No. 6, which featured Guida losing to Roger Huerta in the main event.

The full 13-episode ratings for the series received better ratings in the target demographic than any of the last three seasons of the show — which seems to be a certain sign of continued success for season No. 10 of TUF, which features popular coaches Rashad Evans and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and legendary street brawler Kimbo Slice.

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