One thing that's being glossed over when considering the ratings for UFC on Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos is the fact that, in essence, the event did about the number the UFC probably expected, performed well in many demographics and - oh yeah - was the most watched UFC event of all time. Most (us included) have been putting the bulk of their attention on whether or not the event would/did out-perform Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson on the CBS broadcast of EliteXC in 2008.
Well, the UFC did out-perform that event in average viewers, but there's much more to note. The most interesting tidbit is probably the fact that the UFC out-performed all but one college football game in men age 18-34. Plus, the fight was going on during the Stanford-Oregon game, and it drew better ratings in the younger demographics there, too.
There's been people talking about not liking the event, and one reader said yesterday that we were viewing the fight from the viewpoint of a fan, but it's simply not true. Said reader claimed that the 5.7 million average viewers were all fans already and that the broadcast should have catered to them - but perhaps that reader missed the bit about this being the most-watched UFC event of all time. That's clearly indicative of a new audience, at least to some extent, and that event really did cater to said new audience.
As Dana White said, this event wasn't even part of the new multi-year deal with Fox. This was a freebie, a test run, if you will. It was a way to assimilate new viewers and it probably did that very well. In short, think about it like this: White's definition of a freebie after signing with Fox is a Heavyweight Title fight between Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos. It doesn't get much more awesome that, even if it was only 64 seconds of heart-pounding action.