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UFC 189 ratings 'average' for FOX Sports 1 'Prelims' on July 11

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Is normal.

The UFC 189 pay-per-view (PPV) event may return record numbers at the box office, but the "Mendes vs. McGregor" preliminary fights on July 11 in Las Vegas were nothing to write home about, drawing 847,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1, far below UFC 182, UFC 183, and UFC 184.

A number that is "average level," according to MMA Fighting.

The prelims peaked at 989,000 from 9:15 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., which would have been the latter rounds of the Mike Swick vs. Alex Garcia fight. The prelims had been lackluster up to that point, but it is a surprise the audience didn't peak for Matt Brown's fight that followed.

The prelims faced competition from the NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Kentucky that drew 3,216,000 viewers on NBC Sports Network, which is a phenomenal number for that station. It did beat PBC boxing on ESPN with the Keith Thurman vs. Luis Collazo main event, that did 799,000 viewers.

That said, the UFC 189 prelims still beat The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 21 Finale the following night (July 12), which managed just 691,000 viewers.

UFC President Dana White already touted UFC 189 as the best UFC event of all time, based on its record-setting gate and projected PPV numbers. The exact number of PPV buys, however, is not available just yet, though estimates are expected later this month.

Then we'll see how close we came to this prediction.