Saturday night’s UFC 193 prelims drew an average of 1,394,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1.
That’s makes it the third most watched pay-per-view preliminary card in history for the UFC on the channel.
The coverage peaked with 1,776,000 viewers during the final undercard bout which saw Jake Matthews TKO Akbarh Arreola. That’s a very impressive number for two fighters who are relatively unknown to most of the UFC fanbase.
The fact that the prelims did so well gives some indication of the level of interest in Ronda Rousey’s fight with Holly Holm on the main PPV card, and there were plenty of other signs that this was a huge night for the UFC.
For instance, the weigh-ins a day earlier were watched by a higher than average 161,000 viewers on FS1, while the UFC 193 pre-fight show did 576,000 viewers, the second highest ever for that kind of coverage on the channel.
It was the aftermath of Rousey’s shock defeat that made the biggest impact though, with a new record of 490,000 viewers tuning in to watch the post-fight coverage on FS1 despite it being delayed until 2.am in the morning due to college football overrunning.
All this bodes well for UFC 193’s eventual pay-per-view numbers, with Dana White claiming on Joe Rogan’s podcast on Sunday that the event was trending over one million buys, while he also revealed the blockbuster show had broken other records including their attendance record courtesy of over 56,000 fans watching live from the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, plus breaking the stadium’s own gate record and the UFC’s merchandise record.