KEY POINTS

  • PFL has been living up to the billing as the "most innovative sports league in the world"
  • PFL has given MMA fans a different kind of viewing experience
  • Technology has allowed PFL to create its own niche in the MMA landscape

The Professional Fighters League (PFL) is coming off an amazing 2021 regular season and is gearing up for what’s sure to be an exciting postseason.

While PFL’s top draw will always be its star-studded roster of fighters and its one-of-a-kind sports-style tournament format, the league is also leaning heavily on its innovations in technology.

The league, which officially came to life in 2017, has lived up to its "most innovative sports league in the world" claim through its various executions and initiatives to help reimagine how fans enjoy the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA).

Speaking to MMAJunkie.com, PFL founder and chairman Donn Davis recently highlighted PFL’s latest innovations, as well as ones that the company has brought back and made better.

PFL The PFL has been leaning heavily towards bringing a new way of watching MMA. Photo: PFL

“If you haven’t seen it, the innovations we’ve released, even this year, have wowed people. We’ve even done something called the ghost cam, which makes the cage disappear so when people are fighting next to the cage, you just see the fighters, not the cage. We’ve introduced fan social voting," he said.

"You see after each round how global social media is voting the winner of this round. So if you haven’t seen this TV product, you’ve got to check it out. You haven’t seen anything like it in MMA or combat sports."

Perhaps the biggest innovation that PFL has implemented--the proprietary SmartCage technology--isn’t their newest but has been the most crucial.

The SmartCage gives viewers access to real-time statistics and data as the fight happens, which has become an amazing tool for those who enjoy sports betting.

“It all becomes real-time gambling prop bets,” Davis stated. “What’s the hardest punch in this round? Will this Kayla fight end in under one minute? Will it be a takedown? We’re introducing kick speed in week four as a prop bet. Never been done before. It’s a series of motion cameras and chips, so everything is about understanding and appreciating, or engagement in real-time prop bets."

"We’ll be the first-ever in combat sports to have real-time prop bets on a whole host of things."

During the season, PFL partnered with a number of betting outfits--with the biggest being DraftKings--allowing fans to wager on a number of variables, not just fight outcomes.

According to Davis, it’s these kinds of innovations that will help capture a wider audience.

“You’re going to see from PFL lots of ways to engage because remember, 50 percent of fans in MMA are 18-35," he explained. "We all love to engage in the sports that we’re passionate about, so gambling or betting with your friends in a pool is another way of engaging with the sport.”

Far removed from just an exciting night of fights for the combat sports fan, PFL’s recent innovations in technology have helped its events become appointment viewing for all sorts of spectators--especially the betting fan.

Simply put, PFL has indeed reimagined how fans consume MMA--one of the biggest sports in the world today.