UFC on ESPN 8 on Saturday night that saw Alistair Overeem battle Walt Harris in the main event was a smashing success.
Dana White has been adamant the UFC will be the first sport back. He proved that over three events in eight days in Jacksonville. They concluded it with a Saturday night card on ESPN that averaged more than one million viewers.
According to MMA Fighting, the UFC on ESPN 8 main card averaged 1.198 million viewers. It also finished second in the valuable 18-49 demographic. The prelims had a strong viewership of 690,000.
The 1.198 million viewers are the second-highest for a dedicated ESPN card with the highest being the very first one featuring Francis Ngannou vs. Cain Velasquez.
Over a million viewers is a home run for the UFC. But, according to the report ESPN+ viewers do not get included in that number. So, the viewership could very well be higher.
There is now no doubt that the UFC being the first sport back was massive for their audience and success. The promotion will now return on May 30 at a location TBD with Tyron Woodley vs. Gilbert Burns as the main event.