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Up against Tyson vs. Jones pay-per-view, UFC Vegas 15 still lands in top 10 for ratings

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UFC Fight Night: Smith v Clark Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Despite a late change to the main event, and competition from the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. pay-per-view, the UFC’s latest card on ESPN still managed to produce solid ratings for the promotion.

According to the Nielsen Ratings System, the card headlined by Anthony Smith vs. Devin Clark ultimately averaged 1.055 million viewers over two hours after shifting the broadcast to ESPN following the conclusion of a college football game between Texas A&M and LSU. The UFC card also earned a .38 rating in the coveted 18 to 49 year old demographic.

The football game averaged 4.154 million viewers after starting at 7 p.m. ET, which served as a great lead in for the UFC broadcast later that night. Prior to shifting to ESPN, the UFC card aired on ESPN2 while averaging 245,000 viewers.

The ratings for the UFC Vegas 15 card airing on ESPN landed the promotion at No. 8 overall for cable this past Saturday night.

Those numbers also put the UFC back on track following an abysmal showing for the previous card that aired on ESPN, which actually featured a higher-profile main event between Glover Teixeira and Thiago Santos. That card only averaged 429,000 viewers for the broadcast.

The show was also simulcast on ESPN+ but that is a subscription-based service so those viewership numbers are not made available.

Overall, UFC Vegas 15 was the fourth-highest rated card for the promotion on ESPN during 2020. The top rated event remains UFC on ESPN 8, which averaged 1.198 million viewers back in May as one of the first cards back after the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

While the Tyson vs. Jones pay-per-view dominated Google searches and trending Twitter topics this past Saturday night, the UFC still managing to return solid ratings is certainly a good sign for the promotion.