This past weekend, MMA fans were treated to the UFC 248 card, which featured UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya and UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Zhang Weili retaining their respective titles.
The four fight preliminary card that aired live on ESPN brought in over a million viewers, with MMA Fighting reporting that 1,195,000 people watched that portion of the event. The four fight preliminary card saw Sean O’Malley defeat Jose Quinonez, Mark Madsen defeat Austin Hubbard, Rodolfo Vieira defeat Saparbeg Safarov and Gerald Meerschaert defeat Deron Winn. It was the first fight that aired on ESPN between Meerschaert and Winn that brought in the most viewers, with 1,603,000 people checking out the middleweight division encounter.
A huge factor playing into the events high viewership was the lead in, which was an NCAA Basketball game between Duke and North Carolina, which brought in 2,232,000 viewers. The preliminary card won its time slot in every male cable demo under 50, plus it was #2 for all television programming that aired on Saturday Night.
Up next for the UFC is UFC Fight Night Brasilia, which is headlined by Kevin Lee and Charles Oliveira, with the entire event streaming live on ESPN+ this Saturday Night.