MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 12/26: UFC 206 free replay on Fox draws big numbers, JDS and ex-Rousey roommate pick UFC 207 winner (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

By Mike Hiscoe, MMATorch contributor

UFC’s Christmas gift to fans of giving away a recent pay-per-view for free appears to have been a huge success.

Saturday night’s rebroadcast of four fights from UFC 206 did 4.7 million viewers on Fox for the 8-10 ET timeslot. The viewership was enough to win the night, albeit a weak one for network TV, but more than all past UFC on Fox broadcasts except the first featuring the Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos UFC Heavyweight Title fight.

The broadcast featured Lando Vannata vs. John Makdessi, Cub Swanson vs. Dooho Choi, Donald Cerrone vs. Matt Brown, and the show’s main event of Max Holloway vs. Anthony Pettis.

The show is expected to have done one of the lower pay-per-view numbers of the year, but now thanks to this special, will be one of the most viewed, if not the most viewed.

Hiscoe’s Analysis: It was a low risk gamble for UFC to put a recent pay-per-view on TV, but it looks like it will pay off. Millions of people have now seen the great Swanson-Choi fight and will know of Max Holloway when they headline a show with him sometime in 2017. UFC 206 was lightning in a bottle in many ways, so I don’t expect this to happen too often, but it was a wise move of UFC and Fox to air the show when they did.


-Urijah Faber tells TMZ that he is 100 percent done with fighting. He said his heart is not in it anymore. Check out the video clip HERE.

-Ronda Rousey may not be talking to the media, but her ex-roommate is. Kayla Harrison, a two-time Olympic gold medalist who roomed with Ronda when they were both competing in judo, predicts an impressive performance on Friday night at UFC 207. “It’s been a while since we’ve been teammates and roommates so I don’t know how she’s changed as a fighter or her mentality, but I can tell you that in the old days if Ronda suffered a loss, she came back with a vengeance,” Harrison told FOX Sports. “I’m expecting that. I think that she’s going to come back. I think she wants to prove a point to everybody. No one does underdog better than Ronda Rousey. She likes that feeling. She likes having to prove something to people. It’s going to be insane. I think it’s going to be real good.” Read the story HERE.

-Junior Dos Santos, in a Twitter video, wouldn’t predict the “wiener” of Cruz vs. Garbrandt because he’s friends with both. “No doubt it’s going to be a great fight,” he said. He said he sees Ronda Rousey having more trouble with Amanda Nunes than she did with Holly Holm because Nunes hits harder than Holm. “Amanda hits harder than Holly and she moves very well, and she has excellent boxing moves,” he said. Watch him speak about the top two matches HERE.

-Episode one of UFC 207 Embedded has been posted. Check it out HERE.

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST 12/25: Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov reportedly in works for Interim Lightweight Title (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)

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