The UFC milked the cow that is Kimbo Slice for the past seven days and it definitely paid off after Wednesday night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights was seen in over 6.8 million homes, when the replay is included. The first-run episode averaged 5.3 million viewers, however Kimbo’s fight against Roy Nelson was seen by 6.1 million viewers. The replay that aired immediately after the fight captured another 1.56 million viewers.
That number makes it the most-watched episode of an original series in the history of the channel, surpassing the 4.1 million viewers garnered by the premiere episode of TUF 10.
The 6.1 million viewers for the Nelson vs. Slice fight makes it the highest-rated UFC fight in history, eclipsing the 5.9 million viewers for the Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Dan Henderson main-event bout of UFC 75 in September of 2007.
Not too bad for a MMA reality show on cable television.
To help promote this past Wednesday’s episode, the UFC had Kimbo host his own conference call on Monday and had him appear that evening as a guest on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.”
With Kimbo now temporarily eliminated from the tournament, what’s the UFC doing for an encore? Well, fellow heavyweight Marcus Jones appears to be suffering through a case of the injury bug, and Kimbo could very well find himself back inside the Octagon as a replacement.
It was obvious that Kimbo was not injured in his TKO loss to Nelson, outside of his hurt feelings, so another bout on short notice shouldn’t be too demanding of a schedule for the street fighter.
Don’t forget to tune into next week’s episode to see if Kimbo will get another shot at becoming the next “TUF” winner.