The prelims for UFC 215 earned the lowest television ratings of the year for an event prior to a pay-per-view.
The UFC has struggled in the year 2017 when it comes to ratings and pay-per-view buys, and the UFC 215 prelims set a record for the year when it comes to the lack of viewership.
According to Dave Meltzer, of MMA Fighting and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, one reason for the UFC’s low ratings is due to the first hour of the prelims taking place on FOX Sports 2 instead of FOX Sports 1. FOX Sports 2 is not available in as many homes as the other station so the ratings for the first hour only averaged 153,000 viewers.
The second hour of the prelims averaged 418,000 viewers. The lowest ratings on FOX Sports 1 for a live UFC event up to that point was 657,000.
The UFC 215 prelims also had stiff competition when it came to other live sports on television. There were four college football games at the same time, as well as a NASCAR event.
The UFC 215 prelims were headlined by a women’s bantamweight fight featuring former UFC title challenger Sara McMann and Ketlen Vieira. The fight ended with Vieira pulling off an upset and submitting McMann in the second round.
The pay-per-view portion of the card was headlined by UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes fighting top contender Valentina Shevchenko. The two elite fighters fought for 25 minutes with Nunes earning a split decision victory.