Francis Ngannou’s second UFC on ESPN main event appearance resulted in a second impressive television rating for the heavyweight knockout artist.
Nielsen numbers have UFC Minneapolis averaging 1.091 million viewers for the three-hour main card broadcast, up from 828,000 viewers when Justin Gaethje knocked out Edson Barboza in March. Peak viewership clocked in at 1.247 million viewers for the main event between Ngannou and Junior dos Santos.
Of great importance for the UFC and ESPN was the fact that they finished top-ten in total viewers and was the second-highest rated cable programming for all of Saturday, with a rating of 0.42. Only the FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal between Germany and Sweden produced a better rating on what was otherwise a light weekend of major sports competition.
The three-hour preliminary card, also on ESPN, averaged 553,000 viewers and had a rating of 0.19, although peak numbers are not known for that portion of the card as of this writing.
When Ngannou previously headlined the inaugural UFC on ESPN event in Phoenix back in February, his quick KO of Cain Velasquez peaked at 1.7 million viewers, while the main card averaged 1.46 million on what was a Sunday night show.
The UFC’s next ESPN main card is July 20th in San Antonio, with Rafael dos Anjos fighting Leon Edwards in the main event. A strong number should be expected for this Saturday’s UFC 239 preliminary card special.