The UFC took a big risk last weekend by holding the UFC Fight Night Brasilia event in an empty arena setting. However, at least when it comes to the viewership numbers, it would appear that the risk may not have been worth it.
That’s because Trent Reinsmith of Bloody Elbow is reporting that an average of 672,000 viewers watched the twelve fight card, which would mark the lowest viewership number for the UFC/ESPN era. The card was originally set to stream live on just ESPN+, but would also air live on both ESPN and ESPN Deportes due to the coronavirus canceling many other sporting events.
A huge factor that could’ve affected the viewership was that the first nine fights ended via decision and/or draw, while only the last three fights on the card ended via submission or KO/TKO. The card was also light on star power, with Charles Oliveira, Kevin Lee, Demian Maia, Gilbert Burns, Nikita Krylov, Johnny Walker and Renato Moicano providing the big name appeal for the show.
Up next for the UFC is UFC 249 on April 18, which is headlined by UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov defending the gold against former UFC Interim Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson.