UFC unveils LED-ringed ‘Fight Deck’ along with matching ESPN+ travel set

ESPN+ debuted a new travel set for its UFC coverage with visual ties to the new octagonal “Fight Deck” where the action takes place.

Both elements debuted in early March 2022 during the UFC 272 event.

The Fight Deck, which was designed and built by All Access, is an updated take on the traditional UFC octagon-shaped cage. Altogether, the entire structure weighs in at five tons.

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What’s new is that each of the eight sides features a custom-manufactured LED panel from PixelFlex that can display multimedia content in high definition. 

The ‘Fight Deck’ displaying yellow round graphics on all eight sides.

This video content, which can include branding, sponsorships and other messaging, can also be coordinated with the lighting effects in the arena for a coordinated, immersive experience for both attendees and TV viewers.

Meanwhile, ESPN worked with Michael Kramer of MPKScenic to create its own takes on the octagon for the travel set used at each competition venue. 

The entire traveling set, which is designed to be broken down and packed into a truck, is surrounded by an oversized octagon created from metal trusswork.

These are outfitted with lighting instruments that allow it to be dramatically lit, bringing out the lines of the trusswork. 

When set up on site, the entire metal structure sits at an angle so that the lowest part is in front of the desk riser near the floor opposite the high end that’s suspended above at approximately what would normally be ceiling height.

This allows the entire structure to envelope the desk and talent, while also allowing its structure to show up on camera in a variety of ways, including wide views showcasing the entire shape or with segments of it serving as a “header” of sorts above the two shot and angled portions providing visual interest behind other shots.

Thanks to the angled placement, there’s also typically a wide view of the facility where the fight is taking place behind the talent.

Inside of the truss unit is an octagonal riser with a small curved desk with flowing elements on either end that mirror the angled placement of the trusswork. The desk itself is fronted with a custom LED panel in a unique shape that’s used for both UFC branding and topical graphics.

The rear of the riser is backed with a railing that mirrors the look of the cage’s fencing while two vertical video panels are tucked inside of the trusswork to display a variety of on set graphics. 

The set was built by Mystic Scenic Studios and lit by ESPN’s in-house lighting team.

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