The pairing of the premier mixed martial arts promotion in the world and the worldwide leader in sports continues to be a hit.

According to the sports media giant, the airing of the UFC 234 prelims on ESPN & ESPN Deportes drew the second highest-rated pay-per-view prelims on record:

ESPN Media Zone published an itemized breakdown of the rousing success:

  • UFC 234 PPV Prelims aired on ESPN and ESPN Deportes from 8-10 p.m. and averaged a 1.0 metered market rating
  • Based on preliminary ratings, ESPN’s transmission of the Prelims ties with several other PPV Prelims as the second highest-rated PPV Prelim on record, behind a 1.1 metered market rating for 11/12/16 UFC 205 PPV Prelim (McGregor/Alvarez)
  • Last night’s PPV Prelims were up 100% from the UFC 221 PPV Prelims (Romero/Rockhold) that aired on February 10th, 2018 (0.5 rating)
  • The telecast followed the Virginia/Duke game and peaked with a 1.7 metered market rating and during the Ishihara vs. Kang fight.

UFC 205 prelims still hold the record, albeit by the narrowest of margins. No doubt Conor McGregor helped move the needle for that event.

I know we’re only two months into this partnership, but you would have a hard time arguing the UFC/ESPN deal has been anything but great for the UFC and the sport as a whole thus far.

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Mike Straus @AKAstraus21 is a credentialed MMA journalist and a member of the MMAJA. He has been a fan of the sport since its inception and has been covering the sport professionally for three years. In the past, he has produced content for Fansided's Cagepages,, and He currently contributes for, he is a staff writer for, and He most recently began writing for