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UFC 197 prelims deliver 835,000 viewers

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Early indications are mixed when it comes to Saturday night’s UFC 197 numbers.

Pay-per-view numbers are not available for the show, which as far as drawing power went, was almost entirely on the back of the story of Jon Jones returning after 17 months. With the injury to Daniel Cormier, Jones didn’t have the dance partner that would have been expected to make it a major show.

Historically, Jones has been a fighter who can draw well with the right opponent. He did 500,000 plus on pay-per-view against the likes of Chael Sonnen and Rampage Jackson, and far bigger with Rashad Evans, peaking at an estimated 820,000 buys for his last fight with Cormier.

In some circles, Saturday’s show was pushed as the idea of seeing the two best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport in Jones and Demetrious Johnson on the same bill. But technical skill has never been the biggest draw to UFC fans.

Normally against an opponent like Ovince Saint Preux, one would expect one of Jones’ lower numbers. While television ratings for the shows based around the card don’t always give an accurate predictor to pay-per-view numbers, they are more often than not a good sign, and a sign that would indicate Saturday probably wasn’t a big number.

The key interest factors were Jones not fighting in so long, and in it’s own way, with all the publicity regarding his arrests and other public issues, it has made him more famous. On the flip side, a lot of the coverage and attention the show and Jones would have gotten in the last few days instead went to Conor McGregor coverage, making the card itself the secondary MMA news story of the week.

The prelims went head-to-head with NBA playoffs with Dallas vs. Oklahoma City, which did 2,756,000 viewers on ESPN. The Gennady ….View full article

Source:: mma fighting