UFC’s Major ESPN Debut Does Best Numbers Since 2016

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The UFC made its debut event on ESPN’s main channel last night (Sun. February 17, 2019).

UFC Phoenix was headlined by a heavyweight match-up between Francis Ngannou and Cain Velasquez. In the end, it was “The Predator” who emerged victorious with a first-round knockout win. It looks like the event did rather successfully in the ratings department. ESPN PR shared some interesting factoids on Twitter.

ESPN on ESPN 1 was the highest-rated card on cable since January of 2016. Ratings were also up 83 percent compared to the Fight Night main card t the comparable time in 2018. Also, ESPN now holds the three highest-rated UFC telecasts on cable since January of 2017. ESPN credits Nielsen for the information.

The UFC now airing events on ESPN is certainly a huge step forward for the promotion and the sport.

It will be interesting to see how well cards continue to perform on ESPN’s platform moving forward. If you enjoyed this story, please share it on social media!