This past weekend saw the UFC make their highly anticipated debut on ESPN and ESPN+ with UFC Fight Night Brooklyn.
A four fight preliminary card aired live on ESPN, with Donald Cerrone defeating Alexander Hernandez in the featured spot, and that brought in a total of 1,956,000 viewers according to MMA Fighting, making it the most watched UFC preliminary card ever.
One of the bigger factors that helped the UFC bring in such big numbers was the fact that proceeding the preliminary card was an NCAA Basketball game between Duke and Virginia, which brought in 3,000,000+ viewers.
The UFC Fight Night 81 preliminary card, which aired on Fox Sports 1, previously held the viewership record after 1,757,000 viewers checked out that preliminary cards action. The all-time record for any form of UFC preliminary card viewership belongs to a one hour prelim card special that aired on Spike TV before UFC 126 brought in over 2 million viewers. However, when compared head to head with ESPN, Spike TV had more homes to be viewed in during 2011 (when the UFC 126 prelims aired) than ESPN does in 2019.