Bellator MMA and Spike TV go interactive with iOS app
By Dave LeClair
March 4, 2013
Almost every major sporting organization has a mobile application designed to make watching its events a more enjoyable experience for the fans. The NHL has its GameCenter app, the NBA has Game Time, MLB has At Bat, and now, the MMA organization Bellator has its Bellator MMA application for iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad.
Like most official sport applications, Bellator's app offers all kinds of stats and video features to help keep the fans engaged between weekly cards. During the fights, it offers live stats to help the fans get a better idea of who's winning. It also has a feature that allows fans to vote on who they think will win.
The most notable feature of Bellator's application, however, is the interactivity it offers the fans. Fans can act as an unofficial fourth judge during the fights, and commentators Jimmy Smith and Sean Wheelock read the fans' scores during each round. Bellator is quick to point out that scores offered by the fans will not factor into the actual judges' decisions. Judges don't hear the commentary, so they can't be influenced by the scores from fans.
Last Thursday was Bellator's first card since the launch of the application, and as promised, the commentary team read off the scores from the fans between each round, and color commentator Jimmy Smith offered his scores as compared to the fans as well. Before each fight, they also announced who the fans would think would win.
The app also offers historical stats for every fighter in Bellator. If you're curious how many standing arm strikes Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler has in his Bellator career, the app has that information with a little help from fight-scoring website CompuStrike.
The app is available for free from the App Store. During the broadcast this past Thursday, Bellator confirmed that an Android version of the app is in the works, but no time frame was given.