Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight contender, Alistair Overeem, was expecting a bigger audience when it was announced that he was being “demoted” to the UFC on FOX Sports 1 “Prelims” for his UFC 225 fight against fellow 265-pound bruiser, Curtis Blaydes.
Unfortunately, the network averaged just 667,000 eyeballs, the second lowest total of the year behind UFC 224, according to MMA Fighting. That said, the show peaked at 848,000 viewers, who — you guess it — tuned in to watch “The Reem” get destroyed by “Razor” in the third and final round (watch it).
Dave Meltzer deconstructs the numbers:
The show did its strongest numbers among males 25-34, although numbers were consistent across the board from the age of 18 up. Most sports do their strongest numbers over the age of 40. The show did 76.0 percent of the viewers in the 18-49 demo being male. Aside from Major League Baseball on FOX, that did 2,757,000 viewers, there wasn’t strong national sports competition to explain the lower than usual number.
I’m sure ESPN will be glad to hear that.
UFC will depart the FOX network and its offshoots, including FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, and FX, to begin a new broadcasting deal with “The Worldwide Leader In Sports.” That includes a more aggressive schedule (see it) for 2019 and beyond.
As for Overeem (43-17, 1 NC), he vows to come back and start another climb toward the 265-pound title, though after getting stopped in back-to-back fights, especially at age 38, time is definitely not on his side.
For much more on UFC 225 click here.