If you’re a fan of mixed martial arts, it’s quite indeed frustrating that you’re missing some actions in the ring. Mixed martial arts sometimes referred to as cage fighting and it is a full-contact combat sport based on striking, grappling and ground fighting, made up from various combat sports and martial arts from around the world.
Now, the Professional Fighters League (PFL) is currently the fastest-growing sports league in the world, and that’s thanks in large part to its unique regular season-style format that sees the tournament winner take home a world championship and a million-dollar grand prize, is putting state-of-the-art tech to good use by enhancing the viewing experience for the fans. This is relevant nowadays, especially while the pandemic is still going on.
What the PFL has tried and succeeded at doing is bringing a presentation – the league format – that’s relatable to the majority of sports fans and applying it to a fast-rising sport like MMA.
One other thing that’s integrated in how most other sports are presented is stats. Whether it be football, baseball, basketball, or soccer, stats are a big part of the viewing experience.
Through next-level statistics, fans are informed of how fast a pitch was thrown, how many yards a player has run, or how many times a player has made a shot from a certain part of the court.
In combat sports such as boxing and MMA, tallying the number of strikes or significant strikes has been commonplace, but the PFL took this to the next level with the introduction of the SmartCage.
Launched in 2019, the SmartCage made use of biometric sensors and proprietary technology that allowed the PFL to measure and deliver fighter performance data in real-time.
Right then and there, PFL fans tuning in could see specific data such as punch and kick speed, power ratings, heart rate tracking, energy exerted, and more. That means, while you’re watching it live, either from across the stage or watching at home, you can see the stats of the action pulled in by the fighters as the match progresses.
With the SmartCage proving to be a massive success, there’s no telling what the future holds for the PFL in terms of tech. With the boom of eSports, the PFL could one day foray into that arena as well, or better yet, come up with a gaming IP of their own.
The PFL not only prides itself on being the fastest growing sports league in the world, but also being the most innovative, which should come as no surprise especially since sitting at the board is co-founder and chairman Donn Davis.
Prior to founding the PFL, Davis helped build America Online into the massive powerhouse that it is today, serving as SVP and then eventually President and CEO from 1998 to 2002.
In 2005, Davis, along with Steve Case, founded Revolution and Revolution Growth, the company that backed big-time players in the sports industry such as DraftKings and Sportradar.
In 2016, way before the massive boom that eSports is experiencing today, Davis became an investor and co-owner of Team Liquid, eSports’ most successful franchise.
Simply put, Davis knows his way around tech and has a nose for what will work. With him at the helm in the PFL, expect the league to be the pioneers in terms of MMA-oriented tech innovations.