TUF 26 Finale Ratings Deliver Lowest-Watched UFC Live Show Ever

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Photo by Stephen R. Sylvanie for USA TODAY Sports

The UFC and Bellator MMA went up against each other on Friday night. It shouldn’t be a huge surprise to see that both events turned out poorly in the ratings.

What’s interesting is that the two promotions held events on the same night, with the women’s flyweight championship fight as the main event of the UFC’s TUF 26 Finale.

At the end of the day for the UFC, just because you put a title on the line doesn’t mean that fight fans will tune in if they don’t care about the fighters who are competing for the title.

The ratings are out, and here they are. The TUF 26 Finale, which was headlined by Nicco Montaño becoming the first women’s flyweight champion in history with a five-round decision over Roxanne Modafferi, pulled 501,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1.

This marks the lowest-rated primetime live UFC show ever on the network. By looking at the history books, the previous event to draw the lowest ratings on the network was a July 13, 2016, show headlined by Tony Ferguson vs. Lando Vannata that did 609,000 viewers.

The event peaked in its viewership for the main event after 1 a.m. in the closing rounds at 566,000 viewers.

The prelims averaged 361,000 viewers and had an additional 3,569 viewers streaming during an average minute. The previous low for prelims in 2017 was 453,000.

On the flip side, Bellator 189 took place in Thackerville, Oklahoma and was headlined by Julia Budd retaining her featherweight title over Arlene Blencowe. That event did 439,000 viewers, which would be the third lowest for a primetime show since Bellator has been on Spike.

UFC 218 went down on Saturday night, and the prelims pulled in 694,000 viewers. The preliminary card featured one of the year’s best fights with Yancy Medeiros’ win over Alex Oliveira.

However, it marked the fourth-lowest prelims before a pay-per-view event of the year. The Medeiros vs. Oliveira fight peaked the number at 841,000 viewers.