5 Most Watched Matches In UFC History

5 Most Watched Matches In UFC History

Introduction

As the UFC has rocketed in popularity, we have seen its viewership numbers soar. While we can’t count each and every person who has watched their events, we do have published pay-per-view figures that tell us what we need to know. Many venues pay for a PPV watch to then play it for an audience, meaning the actual numbers could be ten times as big as the ones we have below.

Keep that in mind as we look at the five most-watched matches in UFC history. You’ll notice a trend as we go through them, a certain Irish fighter present at most of the events, but that makes sense when you consider that he was the biggest name in UFC when these bouts took place. Speaking of bouts, you can become more than a viewer for the next UFC events by taking bets on UFC fight night prelims odds.

 

  1. Khabib VS McGregor @ UFC 229

The single most-watched UFC fight isn’t even close. At UFC 229, the event was bought by approximately 2.3 million people. Since then, clips and even the entire fights themselves have been published online and viewed by many more millions of people. That brings the total up, a lot.

So, what happened? Well, it was where Conor McGregor, at the height of his popularity, faced off against the immovable object that was Khabib Nurmagomedov. Undefeated, Khabib was still viewed as the underdog by many who were in McGregor’s corner. While McGregor was a great fist-fighter, Khabib was better with submission and proved it with a neck crank. The Octagon exploded at McGregor’s loss and a fistfight even started amongst the pair’s entourage.

 

  1. Diaz VS McGregor 2 @ UFC 202

What put McGregor on the map was arguably when he butted heads with Nate Diaz. While Diaz had beat McGregor in the first match, their rematch would sell 1.6 million times. Diaz had won by submission before, so McGregor was wise to stay on his feet as much as possible and drag the fight for all of its five rounds. When the bell was sounded for round five, McGregor beat Diaz by majority decision.

That wasn’t the only great fight from that night, either. This was the event where Anthony Johnson knocked Glover Teixeira out cold within 13 seconds of the fight starting. This created a viral clip that increased the popularity and viewership of this event after the fact. Donald Cerrone also put in a good performance and would face the wrath of Conor McGregor soon enough at UFC 246, which has also made this list!

 

  1. Poirier VS McGregor 2 @ UFC 257

Here we have another rematch, this one being bought 1.5 million times as per PPV data. In 2014, McGregor knocked Poirier out. Now, at UFC 257 in 2021, Poirer had his shot at revenge for the first-round defeat he suffered.

Poirier got that revenge in the second round of their bout, where he landed a hit on McGregor that sent him down, and then used that opportunity to continue an onslaught of punches to get the TKO victory. 

 

  1. McGregor VS Cowboy @ UFC 246

With Donald Cerrone, the Cowboy, on the up and up, he would face McGregor in 2020 at UFC 246. McGregor came out of retirement for this fight, so that alone made this something that many people had to see. From the data that we have, 1.3 million people paid to see the fight.

As if that wasn’t enough, the fight was short but impressive. After checking a head kick from the Cowboy, McGregor responded in kind by delivering a head kick of his own. As Cerrone stumbled back, dazed, McGregor unleashed a series of punches that ended the fight by TKO, just 40 seconds after the first bell. While short, it’s those explosive moments that go viral and are watched millions of times.

 

  1. Diaz VS McGregor @ UFC 196

The first match between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz is at our fifth position. It makes sense, considering they were two huge names at the time and it happened in the same year as UFC 202 – the rematch. 1.3 million people bought PPV tickets to watch this fight all over the world.

As we have mentioned, it was Diaz who won with a submission, a rear-naked choke hold in the second round that McGregor couldn’t escape from. A skilled submission seemed to be McGregor’s foil, as he lost in a similar way to Khabib at UFC 229. As we now know, McGregor would have his revenge after a grueling five-round bout months later.

Do Not Sell My Personal Information