This past weekend’s UFC 183 event in Las Vegas has turned into something of a fiasco, with the revelation that both its headliners failed their respective drug tests.
In addition, two of its feature bouts were marred by issues with weight management. One of the combatants in a welterweight contender match weighed in ten pounds over the division limit. Another, a flyweight with a history of weight issues, has been ordered to move up in weight despite scoring an impressive win at the event.
But, it seems there’s a heck of a silver lining for the UFC: the event, as cursed with bad fortune as it appears to have been, appears to have been a solid ratings success.
Last night, Dave Meltzer reported that UFC 183 recorded between 600,000 and 700,000 pay per view buys. That may be short of the numbers UFC 182 earned earlier in the month, but it’s still impressive. In fact, as Meltzer notes in his report for MMA Fighting, it’s a better number than any of 2014’s UFC PPV offerings, and the highest-ever for any UFC event which lacked a championship bout.
The UFC 183 preliminary bouts, broadcast on FOX Sports 1 prior to the PPV broadcast, also enjoyed solid numbers.
The two hour block averaged 1,546,000 viewers, the second most in FOX Sports 1 history. The final preliminary bout scored 1,992,000 viewers: the most ever for a UFC preliminary bout.
Meltzer describes the event doing even more impressive numbers in Brazil, where the main card aired about 4 am. Four million homes are said to have watched.