UFC 224 takes place at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One of the country’s two UFC champions will be in action as women’s bantamweight titleholder Amanda Nunes will defend her belt against Raquel Pennington in the main event. Brazilian legend and top middleweight contender Jacare Souza takes on Kelvin Gastelum in the co-main event.
Two more Brazilian MMA icons will battle when Lyoto Machida takes on Vitor Belfort. Here’s a look at the viewing information.
The Fight Pass prelims won’t have strong competition for those who subscribe to the service. However, the entire FX prelims will go head-to-head with ESPN’s Top Rank boxing event featuring Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Jorge Linares. That is one of the most anticipated boxing matches of the year and the former is one of the sport’s superstars.
He has done impressive viewership numbers in previous ESPN fights. Because of the quality of opposition in this fight, it stands to reason we’ll see more solid viewership numbers from him on Saturday. When you consider the FX prelims are devoid of a major draw things look bleak for the UFC’s viewership on Saturday.
The last time Lomachenko fought he went head-to-head with a UFC event in December 2017. Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux almost doubled the UFC show’s viewership and that card was topped off by an excellent main event between Brian Ortega and Cub Swanson. Once the pay-per-view portion of UFC 224 begins, the competition will come from Bellator 199 and an HBO boxing card featuring Sadam Ali vs. Jamie Munguia.
The UFC would likely be willing to trade lower viewership during the prelims for a higher buy rate for their pay-per-view. Unfortunately, no one should expect this PPV to blow anyone away with its sales. The last time Nunes headlined a pay-per-view was in September 2017 at UFC 215 in a rematch against Valentina Shevchenko. That show generated just 100,000 PPV buys.
That was the lowest reported buy rate for a UFC pay-per-view in 12 years. Without a particularly strong main card supporting Nunes-Pennington, the numbers figure to be modest again for this one.
Check out UFC 224 results below.
Main card (PPV at 10 p.m. ET)
Amanda Nunes vs. Raquel Pennington
Ronaldo Souza vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Mackenzie Dern vs. Amanda Cooper
John Lineker vs. Brian Kelleher
Vitor Belfort vs. Lyoto Machida
Preliminary Card (FX at 8 p.m. ET)
Cezar Ferreira vs. Karl Roberson
Oleksiy Oliynyk vs. Junior Albini
Davi Ramos vs. Nick Hein
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Sean Strickland
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass at 6 p.m. ET)
Warlley Alves vs. Sultan Aliev
Thales Leites vs. Jack Hermansson
Alberto Mina vs. Ramazan Emeev
Markus Perez vs. James Bochnovic