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UFC Chile: Usman vs. Maia averages 870,000 viewers

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Boosted by a NASCAR lead-in, the show beat the 2017 average for the series by nine percent.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Maia vs Usman
Kamaru Usman defeated Demian Maia at UFC Chile.
Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC’s debut Saturday night in Santiago, Chile did slightly above-average ratings despite, on paper, being a lackluster card when it came to name fights.

UFC Chile averaged 870,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1, which put it above the 2017 FS1 Fight Night average of 795,000. That should be considered good, even more so with Kamaru Usman — an unproven headliner whose current talent eclipses his name value — facing Demian Maia on top. The show also averaged 9,473 streaming viewers on FSGO and FOX Now.

The key is that the show started right after the NASCAR All-Star race which did 2,474,000 viewers. Because of that, the high point of UFC Chile’s broadcast was the opening fight of the main card, Vicente Luque vs. Chad Laprise, which did 1,143,000 viewers, as opposed to the usual pattern of the main event or one of the leading bouts being the most-watched.

The main competition on Saturday night was the Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers NBA playoff game that did 6,827,000 viewers, and a Showtime boxing card headlined by Badou Jack vs. Adonis Stevenson that ranged from 312,000 to 535,000 viewers.

The prelims, headlined by Zak Cummings vs. Michel Prazeres, did 254,000 viewers on average on FOX Sports 2.

The post-fight show on FS1 did 256,000 viewers.