Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been struggling to return acceptable numbers for its preliminary cards, evidenced by lackluster ratings for both UFC 236: “Poirier vs. Holloway” and UFC 237: “Namajunas vs. Andrade.”
That streak is officially over.
The UFC 238: “Cejudo vs. Moraes” preliminary card returned 964,000 viewers, according to MMA Fighting, the highest mark since the UFC 235: “Jones vs. Smith” event back in March. By comparison, the UFC 225 pay-per-view (PPV) preliminary card only nabbed 667,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1 ahead of “Whittaker vs. Romero.”
In addition, the UFC 238 “Prelims,” which peaked at 1.2 million for Tatiana Suarez vs. Nina Ansaroff, topped Major League Baseball on FOX, the Belmont Stakes on NBC, and the FIFA Women’s World Cup in the coveted male 18-34 demographic.
Not too shabby.
Don’t be surprised to see the promotion trounce that number in the wake of UFC 239: “Jones vs. Smith.” While the official line up has yet to be revealed (see it here), the July fight card is considered to be the best of the year and will likely attract a wider audience, top to bottom.
We’ll find out in less than a month.