Saturday night’s UFC 202 prelims were watched by an average of 1.3 million viewers on FOX Sports 1.
That’s the third highest prelim rating of the year so far for the UFC on FS1, but even so it’s perhaps not as quite as high as they would have hoped for given the hype surrounding the event.
By way of contrast, McGregor’s first fight with Diaz earlier this year at UFC 196 attracted 1,843,000 viewers, a very impressive haul that was then reflected in the 1.5 million pay-per-view buys for the main card, second only to the UFC 100 card back in 2009.
UFC 202’s prelims were fronted by Cody Garbrandt Vs Takeya Mizugaki and Raquel Pennington Vs Elizabeth Phillips, while UFC 196 had Siyar Bahadurzada Vs Brandon Thatch and Erick Silva Vs Nordine Taleb as it’s most notable bouts.
UFC 200’s prelims last month also bested Saturday night’s show with 1,786,000 viewers, and that event is estimated to have pulled around 1.1 – 1.2 million viewers.
The hope will still be that UFC 202’s PPV offering will have also have cracked the one million buy rate barrier, but the prelim ratings may lead to a cooling down in expectations with regards to McGregor Vs Diaz II outdoing their first encounter.
However, the post-fight buzz after UFC 202 was considerable, and so those casual fans who may have lost interest in McGregor after his first Octagon loss may now be pulled back in due to the Irishman successfully settling the score in an instant classic encounter.
That leaves the possibility that the eventual trilogy fight between them may well end up being the biggest of all, though it remains to be seen when that will take place as Dana White has indicated he’s ready to “move on” from this match-up for the time being.