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UFC 205 preliminary card ratings on FS1 average 1.8 million viewers

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As has been the case for all Conor McGregor-headlined UFC PPVs, the preliminary card ratings on FS1 were a smash hit.

MMA: UFC 205-Nurmagomedov vs Johnson Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The advertisements had dubbed UFC 205’s preliminary card as the biggest in UFC history, and the ratings certainly reflect that the promotion’s debut show in Madison Square Garden was a smash hit. SportsTVRatings reports that the FS1-televised prelims averaged just over 1.8 million viewers, making it the 3rd most-watched PPV preliminary card special in FS1 history. Peak viewership totals are not yet known.

The only other FS1 prelim specials to better UFC 205 are UFC 194 (1.93 million viewers) and UFC 196 (1.843 million). What do these three events all have in common? Conor McGregor in the main event. UFC 194 did an estimated 1.2 million buys, while 196 reached 1.6 million, there’s no word on how well 205 fared, but you’d have to figure that this event achieved at least 1 million buys. In fact, McGregor’s PPV main event debut vs. Chad Mendes at UFC 189 is the only card that didn’t average at least 1 million viewers for the FS1 prelims, and didn’t reach at least 1 million PPV buys.

UFC 205’s FS1 prelims were action-packed from the start, with Vicente Luque quickly knocking out Belal Muhammad, Tim Boetsch doing the same to Rafael Natal, Khabib Nurmagomedov smashing and then submitting Michael Johnson, and Frankie Edgar surviving a 2nd round knockdown to beat Jeremy Stephens in one of the best fights of the night.