Last Saturday’s UFC Brasilia card, which went down in an empty arena in the Brazilian capital, reportedly did the lowest average viewership numbers of the UFC on ESPN era to date.
This news comes from Trent Reinsmith of Bloody Elbow.
“UFC Brasilia card ratings on ESPN – average of 672,000 viewers. Lowest number of UFC on ESPN era – also streamed on ESPN+ and broadcast on ESPN Deportes.”
This news certainly comes as a shock.
The UFC Brasilia card aired in the immediate fallout of nearly every other major sports league closing its doors amid growing risks and restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Given that it was one of the only sports airing on television, the expectation was that many fans of other sports would wind up tuning in out of sheer desperation.
Apparently, this wasn’t the case.
UFC Brasilia was topped by a fight between lightweight contenders Charles Oliveira and Kevin Lee. Oliveira won the fight by third-round submission, locking up a guillotine after a Lee takedown attempt backfired.
The card was co-headlined by a welterweight scrap between Brazilian jiu jitsu specialists Demian Maia and Gilbert Burns. Burns won this fight with a highlight-reel TKO.
Elsewhere on the UFC Brasilia lineup, we witnessed appearances from names like Renato Moicano, Johnny Waker, Nikita Krylov, Francisco Trinaldo and John Makdessi—all established names within the combat sports bubble. Evidently, these names weren’t enough to attract the deracinated fans of other sports.
The UFC Brasilia card will go down as the last on the UFC calendar for some time, as the next three events the promotion had planned have all been indefinitely postponed due to the pandemic. The status of UFC 249, UFC 250, and other cards on the agenda are still up in the air.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/17/2020.This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM