The UFC is closing out 2018 with a loaded UFC 219 card on December 30, which is headlined by a women’s featherweight title bout as Cyborg defends against Holly Holm.
There is going to be a huge addition to UFC 219 in the form of artificial intelligence sensors that are going to be added to the gloves worn by a few selected fighters at the event. At this point, no information has been provided as to which fighters will get the sensor gloves and which won’t.
This new addition was recently approved by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC).
MMA Junkie first reported the news.
One of the bigger goals the UFC is hoping to accomplish with the sensor gloves is to provide fans with more statistics that can be shown during live broadcasts. Also, the promotion plans on using the specialized gloves to improve fighter safety, but they didn’t specify just yet on how the gloves would do that.
A huge concern brought up by the NAC during the hearing is that the data can be used by judges to sway their work at events, which is something the UFC promised to work on before rolling out the full data program in the future. The commission will also have to sign off on the initial statistical data before it is released to the public.
Lightweight fighters Edson Barboza and Marc Diakiese have already sparred each other using the gloves, neither competitor reported any problems with the gloves or the sensors.
For those who are wondering how the who process works, each fighter has sensors in both gloves and sensors are also placed throughout the Octagon. The sensors will then calculate data and movement, including the range between fighters and even their corner men. There has been no information provided as of yet on how or why such things as sensors on corner men and even family in the crowd can be used for statistical purposes.
If the program is fully approved by the NAC and other athletic commissions, one plan would be for the data to be instantly made available to the public through a smart phone app. The app would be able to be customized by each fan to tailor to the stats they want to monitor for each fighter.
In the long run and assuming the plan becomes fully approved by various commissions, a whole new wave of information and data could be coming our way.