M-1's partnership with Showtime continued to pay dividends for the Russian promotion on Friday night, as M-1 Challenge 27 drew an estimated 185,000 viewers, according to reports from MMA Junkie. The reported total is a significant increase from the 161,000 viewers that tuned into M-1 Challenge 26 in July. Along with the viewership boost, M-1's latest offering also drew a reported 0.6 household rating.
In combination with the reported total from the first two Showtime-M-1 co-promoted events -- including the 189,000 viewers that raised the bar with the organization's premium-cable debut -- the partnership is now averaging 178,000 viewers.
M-1 Challenge 27 was held at the Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix, Arizona on October 14th, and featured two title fights. Former "The Ultimate Fighter" contestant Vinny Magalhaes soared back from a scorecard deficit to deliver Mikhail Zayats a stunning third-round knockout and defend his light heavyweight belt. Meanwhile, Kenny Garner outlasted Maxim Grishin for 24 minutes before submitting the Russian with strikes in the final round to earn the M-1 Global interim heavyweight strap.
M-1 Challenge-Showtime ratings:
M-1 Challenge 24 ratings: 189,000 viewers
M-1 Challenge 26 ratings: 161,000 viewers
M-1 Challenge 27 ratings: 185,000 viewers