The added viewership from the main event of Chris Weidman vs. Kelvin Gastelum brought Saturday's night's UFC on FOX show from the lowest-rated to the third lowest-rated episode in the show’s nearly six-year history.
The show finished with a 1.23 average rating and 2,046,000 viewers. It finished slightly ahead of the April 15 show, headlined by Demetrious Johnson vs. Wilson Reis for the flyweight title that did a 1.22 rating and 1,996,000 viewers, and the Aug. 27 show headlined by Demian Maia vs. Carlos Condit, that did 1,983,000 viewers. It should be noted that the latter show was preempted in several key markets due to the local FOX affiliates television preseason NFL games. The other 2017 show, on Jan. 28, headlined by Valentina Shevchenko vs. Julianna Pena, did 2,189,000 viewers.
Still, the number came on a night without any major sports competition, or big television competition. The UFC ended up being the highest rated show on television in prime time in the 18-49 demo, as well as all key men's demos. It even won its time slot on network television in women's 18-49. During head-to-head competition, only ABC, which had much stronger viewership in ages 50+, beat the UFC show when it came to all television.
The only other sports competition of note on Saturday night was poker on ESPN, which did 741,000 viewers.
Still, the total viewership was down 31 percent from last July's Shevchenko vs. Holly Holm-led show, although that comparison is with the most-watched UFC summer show ever.
The Weidman vs. Gastelum main event averaged 2,714,000 viewers, which because it took place after 10 p.m. ET, wasn't figured into the original overnight ratings which had the show as the least-watched FOX prime time special in history. In April, the Johnson vs. Reis title match peaked at 2,874,000 viewers.
The two-hour prelims on FOX from 6-8 p.m. ET, headlined by Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos' decision win over Lyman Good, averaged 1,137,000 viewers. It was down 10 percent from the prelims before the Shevchenko vs. Holm show last summer, and beating the 1,105,000 for the last prelims on FOX before Johnson vs. Reis.