The numbers are in for the UFC 207: Nunes vs. Rousey preliminary card broadcast on Fox Sports 1, and they’re very impressive. Sports TV Ratings revealed earlier this week that the two-hour prelims broadcast (8:00-10:00 PM ET) averaged 1.511 million viewers, with further info from MMA Fighting’s Dave Meltzer confirming that Neil Magny’s win over Johny Hendricks peaked at 1.8 million.
UFC 207’s FS1 rating is the 4th highest of 2016, trailing behind UFC 196 (1.843 million), 205 (1.8 million), 200 (1.7 million), and 202 (1.3 million). All of those events eclipsed 1 million PPV buys, with 3 of them headlined by Conor McGregor. Rousey’s UFC 193 loss to Holly Holm in 2015 did over 1 million buys, as well as a 1.394 million average preliminary card rating on FS1. While preliminary card ratings aren’t always an indicator of PPV success, it looks as if Rousey was a hit at the box office yet again. There is this line from Meltzer that certainly stands out as far as the demographic breakdown for 207:
“In particular, the show did well above normal with teenagers, particularly teenage girls and 18-49 women to the prelims before a usual major UFC show, indicating Ronda Rousey's ability to bring in a different audience than those who usually watch big UFC events.”
With Rousey getting quickly blitzed and beaten by Amanda Nunes in the main event, her future in the sport is in doubt, and with that will certainly come questions about whether or not her drawing power has peaked right at the time of her two losses. What we do know is that there’s a massive gap between the drawing capabilities of Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey compared to everyone else. With McGregor taking time off as he awaits the birth of his child, and Rousey’s future unknown, the UFC will most likely be without the services of their two biggest draws for at least the first several months of 2017. The UFC’s first PPV of the year is scheduled for February 11th in Brooklyn, New York, as Holly Holm fights Germaine de Randamie for the inaugural women’s featherweight title.