This past Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 62, which was headlined by Demian Maia vs Ryan LaFlare, posted low numbers overall — but oddly, still came close to setting a ratings record.
The event’s main card drew 617,000 viewers to FOX Sports 1, per Nielsen sources. MMA Payout reports that the figure marks the lowest ratings for a UFC Fight Night in 2015.
But the preliminary broadcast, as reported by Dave Meltzer, marked the third highest ratings ever for the FOX Sports 2 network.
The numbers were clearly effected by other sports programming that evening.The UFC Fight Night preliminary bouts were moved to FS2 due to programming from NASCAR. There was also, of course, the presence of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, which was carried by TBS and TNT.
The show, also known as UFC Fight Night: Rio or UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. LaFlare, was also an event short of star power.
Originally, it was to feature a popular attraction in Urijah Faber, but “The California Kid’s” opponent, Raphael Assuncao, had to cancel due to injury. So, Faber was switched to headline a later event in Manila, Philippines, and LaFlare and Maia were moved to the main event.
LaFlare had never been featured in a headlining UFC bout. Maia is a more familiar face, having once fought Anderson Silva for the UFC Middleweight Championship, but the jiu jitsu standout has never enjoyed great popularity.
Attendance at the Maracanazinho Stadium in Rio de Jainero, Brazil was reported at 7,707. The venue also hosted UFC 179, which featured the second bout between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes; that event drew an attendance of 11,415.