UFC on ESPN 8 produces strong viewership ratings

Alistair Overeem, UFC on ESPN 8
Image via @alistairovereem on Twitter

Last Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 8 event in Jacksonville, Florida delivered strong viewership ratings for the promotion.

According to a report from MMA Fighting, which cites data collected by the Nielsen Ratings System, the UFC on ESPN 8 main card averaged 1.198 million viewers and finished second in the valuable 18-49 demographic. It was No. 1 for the male audience in that age grouping.

The card’s prelims, which began at 6:00pm ET, averaged 690,000 viewers— fifth place in the overall ratings for Saturday night.

The event was also broadcast on the streaming service ESPN+, but those viewership numbers are not collected by Nielsen. When ESPN+ viewership numbers are factored in, the card looks increasingly like a viewership home run for the promotion.

Of course, the broadcast was likely helped by being one of the only sporting events on TV.

UFC on ESPN 8, which was the UFC’s third event in the span of a week, was headlined by a heavyweight scrap between Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris. Overeem survived an early scare to defeat Harris by TKO in the second round. Other highlights of the card included controversial wins from Claudia Gadelha, Dan Ige and Song Yadong, who defeated Angela Hill, Edson Barboza and Marlon “Chito” Vera with hotly debated decisions.

Here are the full results from the UFC on ESPN 8 card:

UFC on ESPN 8 Main card

  • Alistair Overeem def. Walt Harris via TKO (R2, 3:00)
  • Claudia Gadelha def. Angela Hill via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)
  • Dan Ige def. Edson Barboza via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)
  • Krzysztof Jotko def. Eryk Anders via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
  • Song Yadong def. Marlon Vera via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

UFC on ESPN 8 Prelims

  • Miguel Baeza def. Matt Brown via KO (R2, 0:18)
  • Kevin Holland def. Anthony Hernandez via TKO (R1, 0:39)
  • Giga Chikadze def. Irwin Rivera via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Nate Landwehr def. Darren Elkins via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Cortney Casey def. Mara Romero Borella via submission (armbar) (R1, 3:36)
  • Rodrigo Nascimento def. Don’tale Mayes via sub (rear-naked choke) (R2, 2:05)

Are you surprised the UFC on ESPN 8 card performed so well?