All Mixed Martial Arts fans will soon get know exactly how tough their favorite fighter is, thanks to the MLB-like statistics that will be implemented by UFC later in the year.
According to UFC and owner WME/IMG, they aim to create a data business that works along with the rough sport. During a session at Cannes Lions, WME´s Ari Emanuel detailed that they want to include data business partly by adding sensors to shorts, gloves and the arena.
While on stage with Emanuel, UFC president Dana White told listeners that they are working on many statistics. “We want to see the best knock out — it’s perfect for social media”, she said.
Moreover, White explained that these sensors can detect, for example, that a punch was X miles per hour, how bad was the impact and even the number of punches the fighters are throwing before, during and after training.
Along with White’s statement, Emanuel added that they are also creating videos that can be shared using emojis, and that they estimate that they are about six months from doing that.
During this session, WME/IMG detailed its $4 billion purchase of the popular sport, which has as goal to determine the toughest man and woman worldwide.
UFC has positioned star fighters like Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey, two of fans favorites. But it can not be hidden that the sport is extremely tough and is just as controversial as boxing. It’s hard to forget that former UFC fighter Tim Hague endured a serious brain injury this month after an unrelated fight.
In spite of this, UFC fights can attract approximately 5 million viewers who seek thrill over the exciting and dangerous sport. Coming August, UFC’s Conor McGregor will be fighting boxing champion Floyd Mayweather in a fight without precedents in Las Vegas. White says connoisseurs are taking bets since now on how many pay-per-view sales it will attract: they estimate it could be over, or under 4.9 million.
White boasted that this is the greatest fight ever in the history of combat sports, who appeared to be very confident with McGregor’s odds.
“If McGregor knocks Floyd out, he will be without doubt the biggest star in sports ever,” White stated. “If Floyd runs away from him and it turns another way, we’ll just have to see what happens.”
White told the attendees that the toughest fighters were very well-known names around the globe. “The most famous athletes worldwide have always been the toughest,” he said, mentioning names like Bruce Lee and Mike Tyson.
Fox Sports’ TV rights for UFC expire in 2018. UFC, along with its owner WME/IMG, is looking for a fourfold increase, an amount to be around $450 million per year, along with a 10-year deal, according to a Sports Business report published in November.
Emanuel stated that they have a negotiating window ranging from July to September. According to him, Fox has been incredible partners for UFC and they’ll just have to wait and see what happens, always hopefully for the best. Sign up at Heritagesports