The UFC 182 preliminary card was watched by an average of 1,039,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1 this past Saturday night.

That’s the UFC’s second highest ratings ever on the FS1 channel for a prelims show, though still dwarfed by UFC 168 which delivered 1,554,000 viewers.

The prelims this past weekend peaked with an impressive 1,346,000 viewers during the final fight between Paul Felder and Danny Castillo which featured one of the few stoppage victories on the night as Felder capped off a strong performance with a spinning backfist KO.

Needless to say interest in the prelims was driven mainly by the hype surrounding the main card headliner on pay-per-view between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier and that led to a record audience for the post-fight show on the channel which drew 459,000 viewers.

With all that in mind the signs are looking good for UFC 182’s pay-per-view numbers, and indeed on Saturday night Dana White was already hinting that the card may have exceeded his original ambitious estimate of 750,000 buys.

So, by all accounts the UFC 182 event has been a success on the ratings front and should be the UFC’s biggest event since UFC 168: Silva Vs Wiedman II in December of 2013. It’ll now be very interesting to see how Anderson Silva’s comeback fight against Nick Diaz at UFC 183 later this month compares since it’s also expected to generate a great deal of interest from fans, both casual and hardcore.