KEY POINTS

  • PFL's success is credited to the right mix of talent and technology
  • SmartCage technology gives MMA fans a different kind of viewing experience
  • PFL is making sure that fans can get the proper data and information

On Friday night, the Professional Fighters League heads into the home stretch of their 2021 season as the playoffs kick-off.

The four best fighters from each of the league’s six weight divisions do battle, all with the hope of hoisting the PFL world championship, as well as a whopping $1,000,000 prize at the end of the season.

For former champions like women’s lightweight Kayla Harrison, welterweight Ray Cooper and light heavyweight Emiliano Sordi, it’s a chance to once again reign atop the so-called "fastest-growing sports league in the world."

For newcomers such as Rory MacDonald, Clay Collard, and Cezar Ferreira, it’s a chance to add to their already-impressive resumes.

The mix of veterans, former titleholders, and newcomers is what makes the upcoming PFL postseason very intriguing.

Add the fact that some of the league’s biggest off-season acquisitions Anthony Pettis and Fabricio Werdum--both former UFC world champions--didn’t even make it into the postseason.

Quite simply a testament to the talent that PFL roster boasts.

By season’s end, PFL will no doubt have even more new stars to parade in the coming years.

While obviously star power is something that most--if not all--mixed martial arts (MMA) promotions bank on, PFL also puts a premium on another aspect of the sport. One of which is innovation.

The league--which came to life in 2017--prides itself on being the most innovative sports league in the world, and it has worked hard to back that claim up by using its innovations in technology to help make PFL a unique viewing experience not just for MMA followers, but for all types of fans as well.

Perhaps the league’s biggest innovation is their proprietary SmartCage technology, which gives fans and viewers a whole new perspective of the fight.

The SmartCage gives viewers access to real-time stats and data during fights.

“I think data is essential for any sport and needs to be there so fans can appreciate and evaluate how participants are performing,” PFL executive producer George Greenberg told SVG News. “So we provide as much data as possible to the viewer. We believe that next-gen MMA is very much dependent on data and information because, let’s face it, 18- and 34-year-olds love information.”

“The constant flow of data that we have is unlike any other mixed-martial-arts group or even boxing. We have a tremendous flow of information, and we like to give that information to the viewer as soon as we have it because we believe it helps tell the story for the viewer."

This also opens the door for a plethora of betting opportunities, and PFL has maximized that by partnering with DraftKings and BetMGM, among others.

PFL photo release PFL photo release Photo: PFL photo release

“We’re changing the game by leading with innovation in sports betting,” PFL CEO Peter Murray told iGB North America. “We have SmartCage technology, which lets us offer unique bet types, especially props. We can measure an athlete’s performance in real-time and integrate it into our broadcast and betting content. Strike speed, number of strikes, we can track it all and tie it to the action.”

As PFL continues to grow, it will definitely be able to lure in more stars and find even more ways to innovate the sport of MMA.