Saturday night’s UFC on FOX 27 card — which, from a star power standpoint, looked like the weakest show since the inception of the series — delivered numbers that would indicate that very point.
The show, from Charlotte, N.C., headlined by Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza’s first-round knockout win over Derek Brunson, did 1,770,000 viewers. It was the lowest viewer number in the history of the series based on same-day viewing in the final ratings.
The previous record low was 1,983,000 viewers for the Aug. 27, 2016 show, which was headlined by Demian Maia vs. Carlos Condit. However, that show was preempted in 15 markets due to the local FOX affiliate carrying NFL preseason football in its place. For a UFC on FOX event that garnered full national coverage, the previous lowest to date was the April 15, 2017 event headlined by Demetrious Johnson defending his flyweight title against Wilson Reis, which did 1,996,000 viewers.
Saturday’s UFC on FOX 27 event was hurt by its short headlining bout, but based on the ratings pattern, even if the main event had gone five rounds, it still would have been the lowest rating for a FOX special.
The main event drew 2,224,000 viewers, the second-lowest UFC on FOX main event in history behind Maia vs. Condit. For a comparison, the Johnson vs. Reis match drew 2,874,000 viewers.
The UFC was the third most-watched sports event on television on Saturday night, trailing a Golden State Warriors vs. Boston Celtics NBA game, which did 4,678,000 viewers, and a NCAA basketball game on ESPN, which did 2,232,000 viewers.
Among the networks, while FOX had the lowest number of total viewers, they did come in second in the overall 18-34, 18-49 demographics, and with males in those two demographics, but well below the NBA numbers in all four categories.
UFC on FOX 27 also drew 10,694 viewers streaming on FSGO and FOX Now.
The prelims, airing from 5-8 p.m. Eastern on FS1, did 566,000 viewers on television and 5,303 for an average minute streaming.
The pre-fight show on FS1 did 88,000 viewers and the postfight show on FS2 did 63,000 viewers.
Bellator 193 on Friday night, with a show from Temecula, Calif. that was headlined by Lorenz Larkin winning a three-round decision over Fernando Gonzalez, did 470,000 viewers in same-day ratings.