It seems in recent weeks, there’s been a glut of MMA, boxing, and kickboxing events.
In contrast, this past weekend’s UFC Fight Night 74, aka UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Oliveira, stood alone. There were no MMA offerings from WSOF, ONE, or Bellator. Nothing from GLORY kickboxing, who are running an event about once a month these days, and not even a major offering Premier Boxing Champions — who have become almost ubiquitous.
(PBC and Bellator return this weekend.)
So, you might expect the lone combat sports offering to be a ratings hit — or at least score above average.
However, it appears that wasn’t the case.
According to Nielsen numbers, UFC Fight Night 74 drew 796,000 viewers. As Dave Meltzer reports for MMA Fighting, that’s actually the third-lowest total for a UFC Fight Night event this year, and well below their average of 901,000 viewers.
Meltzer notes that his 901,000 average does not include UFC Fight Night 59, aka UFC Fight Night McGregor vs. Siver.
The preliminary bouts drew 542,000 viewers — down from the average of 580,000.
So what happened?
Meltzer notes that the Sunday card took place at the same time as WWE’s SummerSlam pay-per-view event, which happened to be headlined by former UFC champion Brock Lesnar. The show also faced competition from an NFL preseason game on Fox.
The event, for all its promise, was also low on star power. It’s headliners, Max Holloway and Charles Oliveira, have been consistently entertaining fighters, but haven’t attracted much of an audience yet. The fact that their bout ended quickly due to injury likely didn’t help matters.
Our friends at MMA Payout have a listing of the year’s UFC Fight Night events.