Compustrike CEO talks Phone App and Fantasy League
August 22, 2010
Compustrike is owned and operated by CEO Bob Canobbio. The company provides a computer program producing MMA statistics such as punches thrown, takedowns and attempted submissions.
The Manorville, NY company is an offshoot of Compubox – the program that provides punch statistics for boxing.
Canobbio spoke with MMA Payout recently about his company, how he got started and Compustrike’s phone app and the possibility of creating a fantasy MMA league.
Growing up Canobbio loved sports and stats. He played Strat-O-Matic – a sports simulation game, as a youth. He recognized that boxing did not really have statisitics. So, in 1985, he developed a computer program and founded Compubox.
Recognizing the same need in MMA, Compustrike was born. “It’s been 3 years since we started. Being in the stat business with Compubox, I could sense the growing popularity of MMA and decided to get a [computer] program written.”
Compustrike’s First Show
The first show was on June 23, 2007, a CFFC (Cage Fury Fighting Championship) show involving Kimbo Slice in Atlantic City. It was Slice’s first MMA fight and he submitted former boxer Ray Mercer.
According to Canobbio, Compustrike was well-received. Although the Slice fight was on PPV, it did not get much viewership. But, web sites picked it up [Compustrike stats] and ran with the numbers.
Compustrike provides live stats for Strikeforce and HD Net Fights. “We were shopping it around and we approached them,” Canobbio said of its working agreements with the two organizations. Compustrike has provided stats to the UFC since late 2007. Compustrike does not provide UFC stats cageside. It does it off site.
A Message from Mark
Canobbio recalls providing stats for Yahoo Sports covering the UFC event featuring Chuck Liddell versus Keith Jardine in Anaheim in 2007 when he received an email from Mark Cuban. Out of the blue, Cuban emailed Canobbio about providing stats for HD Net Fights. Canobbio believes that Cuban must have seen Compustrike’s work for Yahoo Sports.
Canobbio’s selling point to MMA organizations is that Compustrike would be able to show statistically how fighters score points in MMA. It also would serve to educate new fight fans to MMA. Canobbio also points out that statistics lend credibility to MMA as a legitimate sport.
How it Works
Compustrike works through the use of two operators using a laptop computer with a keypad for each. Canobbio notes that every operator is an MMA fighter that understands the types of strikes, takedowns and submissions in MMA. Each operator is assigned to watch one of the fighters. Canobbio states that Compustrike is accurate with only a two percent margin of error. “If it wasn’t accurate, we would hear about it,” says Canobbio. Quality control is performed after fights. Canobbio reviews fight replays to ensure accuracy.
Canobbio employs 5 full-time employees for Compustrike in addition to his employees at Compubox. Canobbio’s main job is researching, compiling statistics and writing previews for upcoming events. His son, Nicolas, serves as its general manager designing and maintaining its web site.
Canobbio says that Compustrike will provide live stats cageside to at least 20 shows this year plus “off-site” stats for the UFC and other shows for its web site.
In addition to its live events, Compustrike plans to launch a live stat app for cell phones. It will provide real-time stats straight to your phone. Nicolas developed the live app. Canobbio said it is testing the phone app “in house” at UFC 118. He hopes that the phone app will launch next month.
MMA Fantasy Game
Canobbio stated that he’s received inquiries about creating an MMA fantasy game utilizing the statistics Compustrike compiles.
Statistics are a part of sports. One of the interesting points Canobbio makes is that statistics provide legitimacy to MMA. As we continue to watch PPVs and fights on television, statistics are creeping into the analysis of the announce team. For instance, Anderson Silva’s come from behind win over Chael Sonnen is more amazing if you looked at the complete stat domination Sonnen had over Silva.
It will be interesting to see at what price point Compustrike will sell its phone app. What type of demand will there be? It will be a telling measure of importance MMA fans have on statistics.
We are three weeks away from fantasy football season…and the NFL season. Can sport fans get up for an MMA fan league based on stats? An MMA fantasy league may get fans interested in fighters they would not normally be interested in such as with players for fantasy football. It may also spark interest into the nuances of mixed martial arts such as how long fighters fight on the ground versus standing up, submission attempts and dominant positions.