The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s debut on ESPN Network appears to be a success.
According to ShowBuzz Daily, the UFC on ESPN 1 main averaged 1.463 million viewers on Sunday night, making it the highest rated Fight Night card on cable television since UFC Fight Night 81 averaged 2.288 million viewers for an event headlined by a bantamweight title bout between T.J. Dillashaw and Dominick Cruz in January 2016.
UFC on ESPN 1 took place at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix and was headlined by a heavyweight showdown between Francis Ngannou and former champion Cain Velasquez. Ngannou. Ngannou spoiled Velasquez’s return, winning via technical knockout in just 26 seconds.
The card, which saw Paul Felder defeat James Vick via unanimous decision in the co-main event, drew an 0.86 share in the 18-to-49 demographic and was above average in all demographics.
Meanwhile, the UFC on ESPN 1 prelims averaged 988,000 viewers on ESPN. That portion of the card was headlined by a key bantamweight showdown between Aljamain Sterling and Jimmie Rivera, which Sterling won by decision.