CBS Sports Joins DAZN in Airing Bellator's Featherweight Tourney

IBM to Power Professional Fighters League Performance Analytics

By Andrew Cohen

The Professional Fighters League will begin using IBM Watson to measure real-time performance analytics through the league’s new partnership with Flagship Group Solutions, a distributor of IBM software platforms.

The PFL’s fighter tracking platform, SmartCage, will be enhanced with IBM machine learning to uncover new performance data. The data is shared on-screen during live PFL broadcasts as well as the league’s OTT platform, Fight Central. Through sensors placed inside the octagon, SmartCage tracks real-time metrics such as kick speed, punch speed, heart rate, and energy exertion. 

“With the implementation of IBM’s cutting-edge technology, we look forward to creating transformative experiences for fans . . . further strengthening our position as the most innovative MMA organization in the world,” PFL CEO Peter Murphy said in a statement.  

Fights in the PFL are broadcast on ESPN2 and livestreamed on ESPN+. After canceling its 2020 season in April due to the coronavirus pandemic, the league plans to begin its 2021 season in the spring.

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