What is Combat IQ? Just the Next Generation of Sports Wagering

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:

LONDON — The future of sports betting is here.

A new company based in England has developed a new way to analyze and predict the outcomes of sporting events, something which could be a boon to those who like to wager a dollar or two on such activities.

The company is called Combat IQ and is run by an entrepreneur named Tim Malik. The company’s first foray into sports analysis revolves around fighting sports—aka mixed martial arts—but could eventually expand to other sports. 

Gambling 911 recently sat down with Malik at his office at Combat IQ headquarters in England to find out more about his operation. Here is a transcript of that interview:

Gambling 911: Can you tell us what Combat IQ is, what it does and how its products and services may be useful to sports bettors? 

Tim MalikCombat IQ is essentially a technological engine that revolutionizes the way sports leagues operate and engage with their fans. Imagine it as a key that unlocks new avenues of entertainment and engagement for fans, while providing sports leagues with powerful tools to enhance their offerings. Our core function lies in facilitating real-time, in-play and prop betting markets for sports leagues where these were previously non-existent.

However, our impact extends beyond this. We are also instrumental in creating captivating broadcast experiences that amplify fan engagement during live events. Sports bettors may notice us most evidently through the newly available betting options on their favorite sports leagues via their preferred betting platforms, as well as unique prop bets that introduce a thrilling dimension to the events. This functionality is powered by our proprietary 'Combat Vision' technology—a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence model that offers access to the most expansive and unique live sports data available. 

Looking to leadership within the industry, we have to look no further than NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who once pointed out that regulated betting can lead to a significant boost in fan engagement. He noted that "people are making various proposition bets throughout the game... [this] could lead to a dramatic increase in engagement." This is where Combat IQ shines—we help make these prop bets possible, while enhancing the fan experience. While our technology might be complex, the outcome is simple—we contribute to making your sports viewing and betting experience more exciting, immersive and interactive. 

G9: Fot those who are not tech savvy, how would you define artificial intelligence or AI and what role does it play in connection with Combat IQ? 

TM: That's an insightful question. Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is like teaching a computer to think, analyze and learn, similar to a human, but at a much faster and more precise level. You may already interact with AI on a daily basis, even without realizing it. It's the technology that powers the smart recommendations you see on Netflix or Amazon, and it's behind those handy language-based tools like Chat GPT and Bard. 

Here at Combat IQ, we apply advanced AI technologies like neural networks, deep learning, machine learning and computer vision, among others, to sports analysis. Imagine a computer watching a sports event, identifying actions, analyzing them, categorizing them and delivering this data to relevant parties—all in real-time. This is the innovation we bring to the table. Our dedication to innovation, quality and precision extends to our team.

We have consciously chosen to source top-tier talent from reputable hubs worldwide, prioritizing expertise and reliability over simply seeking low-cost solutions. This doesn't reflect negatively on the talent present in countries like India and China; it's an acknowledgement of a common trend among AI startups to gravitate towards budget engineers to rush a product to market, and whose solutions may lack the reliability, ironically costing downstream partners more in the long run.

Interestingly, we find leagues and books from these regions turning to Combat IQ to cater to their needs, recognizing our commitment to delivering dependable, high-quality solutions. While we uphold the highest standards of precision and reliability, we also understand our partners' budgetary considerations. We're about striking a perfect balance—offering a gold-standard solution without breaking the bank. By blending high-quality engineering with our AI expertise, we're reshaping the sports industry's landscape and offering unprecedented levels of engagement and entertainment, thus setting us distinctly apart from our competition." 

G9: Again for those who are not tech savvy, how would you define blockchain and what role does it play in connection with Combat IQ? 

TM: That's a great question. Blockchain, though often associated with cryptocurrencies, is a much broader concept. In its simplest form, it's a type of database or ledger that securely records transactions or any digital interaction in a way that is both transparent and immutable. At Combat IQ, while we do not engage with cryptocurrencies or financial transactions using blockchain, we do leverage the technology's inherent strengths—primarily, its ability to provide unalterable, transparent and secure records. In the realm of sports data, where integrity and accuracy are paramount, the benefits of blockchain are significant.

We use blockchain technology to ensure the data we gather and analyze remains tamper-proof and reliable. Every punch, kick or action recorded is stored in a way that can't be altered retroactively, providing our partners with the utmost confidence in the accuracy and integrity of the information they receive from Combat IQ. In essence, we utilize blockchain not for financial transactions, but as a robust tool for data integrity, ensuring the reliability of our AI-powered analytics, thereby enhancing the value we deliver to the sports industry. 

G9: Can you tell us a little about the origins of your company, such as how it was started, who founded it and where you are located? 


TM: Combat IQ's journey has certainly been an exciting one. The seed was planted when I approached my co-founder, Dr. Christian Giang, with an intriguing issue that was disrupting the world of sports betting, particularly in combat sports. We recognized that this vibrant, thrilling industry was underserved in terms of data infrastructure, lagging behind major leagues like the NFL and Premier League. With this insight, our mission was born: to provide a robust, data-driven foundation that could allow combat sports to modernize and compete on a global scale.

From the outset, we had a distinctly international flavor. Our roots stretch across four continents and six countries, reflecting the global appeal of combat sports. Today, our primary operations are headquartered in Europe, with the United Kingdom and Switzerland serving as our main hubs. We chose these locations for their strong ties to sports, technology and innovation, as well as for their robust infrastructure and talent pools. Being the first company of its kind to cater to the combat sports industry is a distinction we're immensely proud of.

Chris and I set out on this journey with a shared vision, driven by a passion for sports and a belief in the transformative power of data and technology. We're thrilled to see our vision coming to life and we look forward to continuing our journey, elevating the world of combat sports to new heights. 

G9: Are you seeking investors in the company? How much have you raised so far from investors? 

TM: We're certainly navigating some exciting discussions at the moment. It's paramount for us to find not just capital, but strategic allies who understand the potential of our vision. To date, we've secured sufficient funds that have propelled us to this phase, empowering us to commercialize our technology. As we look ahead, scaling effectively remains a key focus. 

G9: Can you tell us a little about your personal background? Where are you from, how old are you, what is your education and what is your previous job experience? 

TM: I've been fortunate to have a wide array of experiences that have prepared me for the role I find myself in today. Born in one country, educated in another, and having worked in several more, my life has been characterized by diversity and exploration. My professional experience in sports, specifically in football scouting, has given me firsthand knowledge of what drives viewership and revenue in one of the highest ROI investments one can make— professional sports.

As much as these personal experiences have shaped my vision for Combat IQ, it's the collective expertise and diversity of our team that truly make us stand out. We have managed to bring together a group of individuals who have achieved academic and professional excellence, and whose backgrounds span a wide range of cultures and experiences. This not only enables us to identify and solve problems from a uniquely global perspective, but also to anticipate and navigate the cultural and human barriers that may arise along the way. 

G9: Your company focuses on combat sports, which includes Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Do you foresee a time in the future when you may expand into other sports? 

TM: Let me first clarify that UFC is indeed a league within the larger realm of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), not one we are working with, though we would love to. As of now, our primary focus is on combat sports, which is a relatively underserved segment of the sports industry. That said, we are by no means limited to this vertical. We're already initiating exploration into several 'blue chip' sports. While I can't divulge specific details right now, we have some exciting projects in the pipeline that will extend Combat IQ's innovative solution to a broader range of sports.

Breaking into a landscape where established enterprises hold sway can be challenging, but we see this as an opportunity. As leagues and betting companies increasingly seek innovative solutions, we're uniquely positioned to serve these clients in a customised manner and apply our technology in ways that are yet unexplored.

We approach each collaboration as a partnership, cultivating a symbiotic relationship centered around mutual value creation. Even as we remain the leading solution for combat sports, we're continually looking towards the future. So, keep your eyes peeled for Combat IQ's expansion in the sports landscape. 


G9: Is there anything else you would like to add about your company or yourself that you haven’t been asked about? 

TM: It's been a pleasure discussing Combat IQ, our innovative technology and our remarkable team. I would like to underscore though that our mission goes beyond just technological advancements. We're driven by a deep passion for sports and a vision to revolutionize the industry.

At the heart of our efforts is an ambition to enhance fan engagement, maximize profitability for leagues and betting companies and uphold fairness for athletes.

These objectives guide us as we strive to use artificial intelligence to create transformative solutions for combat sports. Moreover, our team is constantly pushing the boundaries, exploring how we can use these cutting-edge technologies to create meaningful change. We believe in the power of AI and blockchain to uplift the sports we cherish.

The essence of Combat IQ resides in our commitment to integrity, our zeal for innovation and a relentless passion for sports. But it is these core values that don't just guide us, they inspire us. As we continue to redefine the limits of what's possible in the realm of sports, we are fueled by these convictions that ignite our journey.

By Tom Somach

Gambling 911 Chief Correspondent


Sports News