Spike TV's airing of the UFC 133 preliminary special averaged an audience of 1.4 million viewers, tying it for the ninth most successful performance in the show's three-year history. The broadcast scored a 1.0 household rating and was the top rated program among the crucial 18-49 male demographic on Saturday night among basic cable networks.
The two bouts selected for broadcast were Alexander Gustafsson vs. Matt Hamill and Chad Mendes vs. Rani Yahya. Gustafsson defeated Hamill in the second round of their light heavyweight bout, and top featherweight contender Mendes emerged with a unanimous decision victory after going three rounds with Yanya.
The UFC first began airing preliminary bouts in 2009 -- for UFC 103 -- in order to siphon pay-per-view buys from a boxing matchup between Floyd Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez. Since then there have been 22 broadcasts, with the most successful coming in February of 2011 in advance of UFC 126.