Tim Malik

Tim Malik on ‘Hashing It Out’ Episode 26: Growing combat sports with data analytics

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July 21st marked the final day for the Satoshi Block Dojo’s Cohort Two, a milestone celebrated with polished pitches from each of the startups followed by a networking cocktail hour and a legendary after party hosted by the Dojo founder, Craig Massey.

One of the startups from Cohort Two was Combat IQ, an advanced data analytics company for combat sports.

“What we’re doing is we’re using computer vision, machine learning to extract real time flight data from broadcast streams and then deliver that to our key verticals. And we think we’re in a really good position to supercharge growth for combat sports using that technology,” shared Combat IQ CEO and Co-Founder Tim Malik.

Malik and his team have global plans for Combat IQ, with services targeting everything from combat sports brands, sports betting operators, publishers and broadcasters, fight promotions, esports, to athletes and gyms. Between Malik and his Co-Founder Christian Giang, the pair have lived in 12 countries and speak ten languages, covering just about all hemispheres of the planet.

“When we approached this, it was very much approaching a problem that we could globally scale and utilize our past through globalization to take that product and get it to everybody. And that’s something that we think we have a competitive advantage in,” Malik revealed.

The interest in combat sports began with Malik’s love of American football, a sport that took a huge hit during the pandemic and left Malik with a thirst for something to bet on. 

“Fortunately, the UFC kept putting on events and I would tune in every week, I’d watch those and I’m a little bit of a gambler myself, so I would always go look for data that would help me make more accurate bets,” he said.

“When I saw a real lack of [UFC data], that’s when I approached my current co-founder, Chris Zhang, to create a solution that we could then apply to the industry,” Malik added.

“We found that we’re creating a really high value technology, so we entered the SB Dojo program here in London and now we’re in really good position to hit the market with our B2B product,” he said.

The sports betting industry is driven by data, there is no doubt about it. There are plenty of industry leaders in sports data analytics companies already, yet Malik believes Combat IQ has something different to offer.

“Typically when you look at some of the sports data companies, your Genius Sports of the world, Sportradar or Stats Perform, they all use computer vision machine learning for different sports, but largely what they use is similar to what Tesla uses, object identification,” he explained.

“They’ll use computers to figure out where a person is, where the ball is, but what we’re doing is so much more granular. We’re doing posture detection. We’re figuring out where fighters, how they move, look at their fist from point A to point B so we can calculate the velocity of their punch,” he described.

“There’s so many really cool data points that we can get into and extract and then use that to figure out what’s going to happen, so we’re in a really great position to provide unique and proprietary data to the market,” Malik added.

So how will Combat IQ grow the combat sports space, exactly?

“You see it in modern day NFL, in the NHL, MLB, how impactful that data is to create that culture. And we’re largely inserting that in Combat Sports because it’s almost nonexistent,” Malik explained.

While we know Combat IQ utilizes BSV blockchain technology in some way due to their participation in the Satoshi Block Dojo program, it’s not their main selling point as its simply running in the background.

“One of the great things about the Dojo is that they’re helping all the companies involved learn how to use blockchain in really unique ways for its utility. And typically, so many people think that it’s a transactional basis that blockchain comes into play, but it’s so much more than that,” said Malik.

“And that’s why we’ve included it as a data audit tool for ourselves, so when we publish odds to books, we can quickly do dispute resolution and we can check back on what odds we published and we can really identify the point of error within the feed,” he explained.

Malik went on to highlight a Nielson study of the top 20 most valuable sports properties on the planet, with three of them revealed as MMA leagues and only one of the three actually publish stats on their fighters.

“So right away you can see a massive missed opportunity to grow the sport and we’re injecting our services within there,” Malik confirmed.

CoinGeek followed the inside story of Block Dojo’s first cohort for a CoinGeek Originals film, How to Build a BSV Business.

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