UFC invites fans to a pre-match staredown with star fighters on new platform

Mixed martial arts body UFC is giving fans the opportunity to take part in their own pre-fight staredown with a champion fighter on a new digital platform.

Digital creative agency Slik was hired by UFC in September last year to build a global fan engagement platform for the sport.

The resulting platform, UFC Staredown, uses AI and emotion-tracking technology so fans can put their menacing faces to the test against a UFC fighter.

Fighters including Nate Diaz, Jorge Masvidal, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier have all volunteered their pre-fight faces for the platform.

The fan’s face will be captured in each game and transformed into a GIF they can share across social media. The platform will also produce measurements of anger, confidence and shock displayed on their face.

Kyle Bennett, co-founder at Slik, said: “Our idea and game is built around before fighters step into the Octagon, the pre-fight ritual of the ‘staredown’, which has become an integral part of the build up to any UFC fight. Using that insight, we developed a truly interactive digital engagement platform to allow fans to experience what it’s like to go face to face with these awesome fighters.

“It’s not every day an agency gets the opportunity to develop something on this scale with this global reach, so we’re delighted to have been selected by UFC against some strong competition and win this industry accolade.”


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