Saturday night’s UFC 219 prelims were watched by an average of 914,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1.
That makes it the fourth most-watched prelim coverage of the year on the channel, behind three cards that all rose above one million viewers during the course of 2017.
What’s most notworthy about this is the fact that there weren’t any big name stars on the prelims, with the peak rating 998,000 viewers coming during the final fight on the line-up between Michał Oleksiejczuk and Khalil Rountree Jr.
That suggests that the audience may instead have been boosted due to interest in the pay-per-view card that followed it, which was headlined by a women’s featherweight title fight between Cris ‘Cyborg’ and Holly Holm.
further evidence to back that theory up comes from the fact that UFC 219 was the third most searched event for the promotion in 2017, falling only behind UFC 214: Cormier Vs Jones II and UFC 217: Bisping Vs GSP.
It’s worth noting that ‘Cyborg’ also featured on UFC 214 in the co-main event, while her previous headlining fight with Lina Lansberg at UFC Fight Night 95 in September of 2016 racked up a very respectable 1.1 million viewers, peaking at over 1.3 million during the fight.
So, there’s certainly growing evidence that the Brazilian star could be a draw for the UFC and it’ll be interesting to see whether she can continue to build on that in 2018.