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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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