The UFC Fort Lauderdale preliminary numbers are in.
MMA Fighting’s Dave Meltzer reports that the ESPN prelims averaged just over 720,000 viewers. The first three fights on ESPN 2 averaged 288,000. The prelims brought in the lowest ratings for a live UFC event on ESPN up to this point. The show was ranked fifth on cable during the 7 to 9 P.M. time slot.
It was third in terms of sports broadcasts, trailing the Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors, which did 3,075,000 viewers, and the Boston Bruins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets game, which pulled in 2,852,000 viewers. The ESPN prelims consisted of four fights. The first being a lightweight bout between Gilbert Burns and Mike Davis.
Next, Carla Esparza met Virna Jandiroba in a women’s strawweight fight. Augusto Sakai bested former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski. And headlining the prelims was Takashi Sato finishing Ben Saunders in the second round at welterweight. The finish actually cost Saunders a lengthy medical suspension.