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UFC 203 prelims do average ratings despite strong competition

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The UFC 203 prelims ratings didn't blow anyone out of the water, but they were solid considering the competition.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

UFC 203 didn't have a ton of name fighters on the preliminary card, but ratings weren't too bad for the FS1 show that led into the PPV last Saturday. That was despite a gaggle of college football games on other stations, and a NASCAR event going head-to-head with the prelims as well.

According to ratings guru Dave Meltzer of MMA Fighting, the 203 prelims averaged 874,000 viewers, and peaked at 1,374,000 during the final quarter. That was during the Bethe Correia vs. Jessica Eye fight that was the featured bout on the undercard. The average was brought down by the opening bout, Jason Gonzalez vs. Drew Dober, which only did 590,000.

Nik Lentz vs. Michael McBride averaged 788,000 viewers, while Caio Magalhaes vs. Brad Tavares averaged 876,000.

The overall rating was the fifth-highest among eight PPV prelims shows on the year so far.

It has been rumored that the PPV was bought by as many as 650,000 customers or more, which is quite surprising. The brunt of that likely fell on the novelty of CM Punk, the pro wrestler than was making his MMA debut. He lost in just over two minutes to Mickey Gall.