While the John Lineker vs. John Dodson main event sounded great to hardcore UFC fans, and delivered in the cage, it wasn't as much a success to the casual viewer.
Saturday's UFC Fight night did 657,000 viewers on FS 1, the lowest for a Saturday night prime time show so far this year.
There were differences from most weeks, including the prelims being on FS 2, and the main card not starting until 11 p.m. ET, which both were going to hurt the numbers. The last few rounds of the main event peaked after 1 a.m. at 831,000 viewers, so even with the late hour, the long main event kept the viewership.
Still, while those changes matter, they don't come close to spelling the difference from the 1,109,000 viewers for the show and 1,326,000 for the main event the previous Saturday for the Cris Cyborg vs. Lina Landsberg-led event. If anything, the numbers only emphasize just how much television interest there was in Cyborg to pull those kind of numbers against football.
The only prime time show this year that did worse was a Wednesday night show on July 13, headlined by Lineker vs. Michael McDonald, which did 609,000 viewers and was the fourth UFC show in eight days.
The UFC event was still the most watched non-football sports event of the night. Football dominated the Saturday night prime time with the Louisville vs. Clemson game on ABC doing 9,294,000 viewers and the Kentucky vs. Alabama game on ESPN doing 3,190,000 viewers, although with the FS 1 broadcast starting so late, the football wasn't really direct competition. .
The prelims aired from 9-11 p.m. on FS 2, headlined by Henrique Da Silva vs. Joachim Christensen, and averaged 294,000 viewers. It was the 11th-most watched television show in the history of FS 2, and third-best for a UFC prelim show on the smaller network.
The post-fight show did 250,000 viewers, down from 348,000 the week before. The weigh-ins on Friday did 110,000 viewers, up from the 50,000 for the weigh-ins the week before.