Despite a change to the main event, UFC Vegas 26 still delivered a sizable audience and landed at No. 1 overall for cable ratings this past Saturday night.
The event headlined by Marina Rodriguez vs. Michelle Waterson pulled in 741,000 average viewers during the broadcast, which kicked off just past 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. The card earned a .23 rating in the coveted 18-49 year old demographic, which help vault the event to No. 1 for the night.
Considering the numerous changes to the card, this has to be seen as a huge win for the UFC while earning the top spot yet again on a Saturday night on cable. Here are the overall ratings for the UFC on ESPN so far in 2021:
UFC on ESPN 20 — 244K (Wednesday 12pm)
UFC on ESPN 21 — 721K (Saturday, 10pm )
UFC on ESPN 22 — 953K (Saturday, 10pm)
UFC on ESPN 23 — 538K (Saturday, 10pm on ESPN2)
UFC on ESPN 24 — 741K (Saturday, 8pm on ESPN)
While the latest event didn’t produce eye-popping numbers overall, it was still the second-highest rated card on ESPN so far this year behind only the event headlined by Robert Whittaker’s five-round decision win over Kelvin Gastelum in April.
As for the PFL, the third event of the season for the promotion was also the first to ever air exclusively on ESPN with typical broadcasts taking place on ESPN2.
PFL 3, which was headlined by former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum taking on Renan Ferreira and Kayla Harrison facing Mariana Morais, ended up drawing 324,000 average viewers for the show that started at 7 p.m. ET. That was good enough for a .09 rating in the 18-49 year old demographic, which put the event at No. 73 for Thursday programming on cable.
The next major event for the PFL will take place on June 10, which features the professional mixed martial arts debut of multi-weight class boxing champion Claressa Shields.