UFC 261 Preliminary Card Averages 951,000 Viewers on ESPN

By: Tristen Critchfield
Apr 27, 2021


The preliminary card for UFC 261 attracted an average audience of 951,000 to ESPN this past Saturday, according to ShowBuzz Daily.

That ranks as the third-best figure for a pay-per-view preliminary card in 2021 behind UFC 259 (1.208 million) and UFC 257 (1.433 million). The UFC 261 prelims were also No. 1 on cable in the 18-to-49 demographic with a 0.36 share.

The four-bout card aired on ESPN from 8 p.m. ET to 10 p.m. ET and served as a lead-in for the UFC 261 pay-per-view, which was highlighted by a trio of title fights at the top of the card – including a rematch between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal. The evening’s featured prelim saw Randy Brown submit Alex Oliveira with a rear-naked choke 2:50 into the opening round of their welterweight clash.

Meanwhile, the early prelims drew 616,000 viewers to ESPN2 for a four-fight offering that began at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT. That portion of the card included a “Fight of the Night”-winning clash between Jeff Molina and Qileng Aori.

The entire UFC 261 preliminary lineup was simulcast on ESPN+, but ratings figures are not released for the streaming platform.

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