UFC revamps Octagon experience with new LED displays

The Ultimate Fighting Championship mixed martial arts promotion has introduced new LED decking displays around the Octagon as part of plans to enhance the spectacle of its live events.

The system, which has been dubbed UFC Fight Deck, has been custom-built for the series. The technology debuted at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena on Saturday for UFC 272: Covington vs Masvidal.

The system weighs five tonnes and features eight tiles comprising over 175 square feet of LED lighting around the 30-foot Octagon. Each panel offers full-motion HD video that supports dynamic branding and messaging capabilities, which are designed to provide greater fan engagement and partnership branding opportunities.

UFC Fight Deck will also be integrated at key moments with UFC Fight Clock, the series’ proprietary time-keeping system, to give the Octagon a unified, multi-level look. UFC Fight Clock was introduced last year and uses flexible HD screens to provide fighters and fans with what UFC claims is the most accurate time-keeping system in combat sports.

UFC Fight Deck will initially be used at every UFC event in the US, including events at UFC Apex, with plans to eventually incorporate the system into international shows.

The system was designed and built by staging company All Access, while the LED displays were manufactured by PixelFLEX, which was previously involved in the design for the UFC Fight Clock.

Craig Borsari, chief content officer and executive producer at UFC, said: “We take pride in giving our fans the best in-arena and broadcast presentation possible, and we’re always looking for ways to upgrade the experience. This is a use of cutting-edge technology with the most famous setting in combat sports, the Octagon, and it’s going to transform how fans experience UFC events.”

Paul Asencio, UFC’s senior vice-president of global partnerships, added: “The possibilities for using this technology to integrate our partners into UFC events are limitless. We’ll be able to elevate our partners’ brands before millions of UFC fans around the world during the most visible, most anticipated moments of our events, including in-round action, fighter introductions, and walkouts from the locker rooms to the Octagon.”

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