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UFC 235 prelims tie for second-best mark since 2013

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Saturday night’s prelims prior to UFC 235 averaged a 1.0 rating based on the overnight ratings in the metered market.

The number would be the same as what the prelims before UFC 234 did in the overnights, which for that show translated to 1,339,000 viewers.

This would tie that show, as well as a few others on FS 1 for the second best pay-per-view prelim overnight rating since 2013, trailing only the UFC 205 prelims before the first show in Madison Square Garden and the Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez lightweight title fight.

The prelims, which aired from 8:15 p.m. to 10 p.m., were more loaded than usual with a Zabit Magomedsharipov three-round win over Jeremy Stephens and Johnny Walker’s 36-second light heavyweight win over Misha Cirkunov. In addition, name fighters Diego Sanchez vs. Mickey Gall opened the show.

The audience numbers will be available on Tuesday.

The equivalent pay-per-view show last March, headlined by Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya, on FS 1, did a 0.6 overnight rating.

Early indications are that UFC 235 did normal as opposed to big pay-per-vew numbers, based on Google searches for the show. The UFC was the No. 1 searched item in the country on Saturday with more than one million searches. Generally, that’s what the shows that do 250,000 to 400,000 buys will do.

Jones’ prior fight with Alexander Gustafsson did an estimated 700,000 pay-per-view buys, but that’s with a stronger marquee second fight with Cris Cyborg vs. Amanda Nunes as support, and coming off a Jones vs. Gustafsson fight in 2013 that many consider the greatest light heavyweight title fight in history. Few gave Anthony Smith much of a chance with Jones, and as the fight played out, that turned out to be accurate.

Individual fighters who cracked the top 20 for yesterday in searches were Jon Jones (200,000), Ben Askren (100,000) and Cody Garbrandt (50,000).

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