The UFC Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale kicked everything off on Fox Sports 1, with Nicco Montano defeating Roxanne Modafferi in the main event to become the first ever UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion. The show averaged 501,000 viewersm which makes the TUF 26 Finale the lowest rated UFC event to ever air on FS1.
It was the main event fight between Montano and Modafferi that drew the highest ratings, with 566,000 viewers watching the history making bout. A four fights preliminary card also aired on FS1 with Montana De La Rosa and Christina Marks in the featured bout, it drew an average of 361,000 viewers and that number was the lowest for any live preliminary card fights from the UFC to ever air on FS1.
Bellator 189 started a little later than the TUF 26 Finale and it fared worse than the UFC, with only 439,000 viewers checking out the card. The main event of the show saw Julia Budd defeat Arlene Blencowe via decision to retain the Bellator MMA Women’s Featherweight Title.
Capping off the busy MMA weekend on free TV was the four fight UFC 218 preliminary card, which saw 694,000 viewers check out the action. The preliminary card had Paul Felder versus Charles Oliveira in the featured spot, but it was a fight between Alex Oliveira and Yancy Medeiros that drew the highest numbers as 841,000 checked out that bout.
A UFC 218 pre-fight show that aired on FS1 drew 170,000 viewers and the post-fight show on FS1 drew 114,000 viewers.
Up next for the UFC is UFC Fight Night Fresno and that airs live on FS1 this Saturday Night, which goes head to head with Bellator 190 on Spike TV. UFC Fight Night Fresno will air live and it is headlined by Cub Swanson taking on Brian Ortega, while Bellator 190 airs via tape delay with middleweight champion Rafaeal Carvalho defending against Alessio Sakara in the main event.